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Understanding what the competing forces in the immediate natural environment are extremely important. If you were just about to wash your car and a UFO landed in front of you it would be fair to say that you would probably stop what you were doing and focus on the UFO.
As humans we can only think of one thing at a time. Try it. Think of a pizza and the Eiffel Tower at the same time. You can’t can you? You can think of them both bouncing back from one and the other but it is impossible to think of them both at the same time. Your dog is the same. Your dog weighs up the most distracting thing to the least in a millisecond. It does this using instinct as the main motivator and director. You see, the scent of a bitch on heat is by far more appealing to your dog than the dog treat you may have in your hand. So you will lose your dog’s focus in this situation because the stakes are stacked too high against you. You will find that there is little you can do to distract your dog away from this scent because it has ignited a natural need to procreate which by the way is rated higher on the order of needs than the need to eat. So what does this tell you? You need to have something more appealing than anything that is currently available to your dog. You need to know what elements are in the environment which will be competing with you for your dog’s attention and then determine what you have available to bring your dog’s focus back to you and then to be able to keep your dog’s attention. This kind of forethought must become second nature to you, visualizing all the things that will distract your dog in the environment you are in or about to enter. You need to know in advance how your dog will behave once an external influence is introduced. Knowing what your dog’s favorite treat is or toy or reward object is, is paramount if you are to always have an ace up your sleeve which is what you will need when you suddenly have to think on your feet.
In Summary – Know your dog’s favorite object to compete with whatever is distracting your dog. Be aware of the influences in all environments that distract your dog away from you.
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