Listening to YOU in a new and distracting and environments – How do you teach it

April 4, 2021

Is getting your dog to listen to you in new and distracting environments a battle? Listening skills are a learned behavior.

What about if there is:

  • Other dogs
  • Other people
  • Children playing
  • Wildlife

Every week, new potential clients tell me “my dog won’t listen to me when I go to the park, beach, on hikes, step out the front door, etc.”.

People have a tendency to think in terms of teaching their dog behaviors (sit, down, come etc.). But instead, the answer to this problem is in teaching the dog some concepts.

If your dog does not understand:
#1 Impulse Control
#2 How to Disengage from interesting things
#3 Arousal regulation
#4 How to play in public

Then it is a struggle.

So how do you teach your dog how Impulse Control, Disengagement, Arousal Regulation and to Play in public.

We teach it through the power of GAMES!


  1. They truly engage your dog in an activity with you. You are the source of fun!
  2. They teach your dog to make great choices.
  3. They help form a great connection with you in a new, powerful way and way that causes them to be thoughtful.

What types of Games are We Talking About

is one game that teaches disengagement and arousal regulation.

It might be such as this game that is teaching Roo to not escape out to the car. Or teaching to

They might be

Of course, the game is first taught at home and then played in new environments.

In the beginning, new games will be difficult at home. Then when you take them to new environments they will get difficult again even though they are easy at home.

So all we’re looking to do really is play games.

Playing games in new places develops a stronger relationship with your dog.

When I get to a new location with Hooley, I want her to know the fun is with me regardless of what is going on in the environment.

Real-life success is about going beyond teaching behaviors and instead teaching your dog concepts through the fun and power of games.

Tell me in the comments section, what new listening concepts do you think your dog needs to learn.  Is it disengagement, arousal regulation, Impulse Control, How to play?  Or maybe it is all of the above.  What would learning these skills allow you to do that presently you can not?

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Author – Debbie Schaefer

Debbie has been successfully teaching dog lovers how to rambunctious, rude, disobedient dogs into Well-Mannered companions since 1987.

That means there are few bad behaviors Debbie can’t tame or troublesome pups Debbie can’t help turn into well-mannered dogs.

With training, your dog can be a great companion, a fun part of your life.