3 Tips to Train a Dog to Go Where You Want

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 6, 2023

train a dog to go where you want

For this West LA dog training session we worked with 8 year-old American Bully Elly, sharing tips on how to train a dog to go where you want on walks.

We started the session by going over a number of dog behavior fundamentals. As a Dog Behavior expert I have learned that many people accidentally create or contribute to their dog’s unwanted behavior problems. Making sure that everyone is on the same page is almost always one of the first things that I cover when working with a new client.

We went over the benefit of using marker words as well as how to load a clicker, hand targeting for repositioning and alternative recall purposes, the importance of celebrating desired behaviors, how to teach dog manners, some creative forms of exercise, how to recognize dog consent and cut off signals.

Train a Dog to Go Where You Want on Walks

Like most dogs, Elly really enjoys going for a walk. Unfortunately, father time has started creeping up on her. Due to some arthritis, she doesn’t have quite the stamina that she used to when she was younger. But that doesn’t stop Elly from wanting to keep going on the walk. The problem is, the route she wants to take ends up being too long. This causes Elly to stop stop walking and sit down instead of making it all the way home. Pretty much the opposite of how to train a dog to go where you want, lol.

Dogs are very much creatures of habit, just like humans. The more they do something, the more likely they are to do it again. I wanted to use this principle to help condition Elly to go on the shorter walk instead of the extended version that gets her into trouble. Practice and repetition are important factors when you train a dog to go where you want on walks.

We filmed a nice video filled with a few hacks to teach a dog to walk where you want but unfortunately my iPhone crapped out and I lost the video. Fortunately I was able to film an analog of these dog walking tips with my friend Frances the next day.

If you have a dog that stops and refuses to walk or your dog does not walk in the direction you want, you should definitely check out the free positive dog training video below.

Obviously you can get a dog to follow you if you are giving it a treat every few steps, but that’s something Elly‘s guardian has already been doing. While it may seem similar, what I was describing in the dog behavior video is more of a short term plan with the benefit of the marker word. If the guardian can follow those tips to get your dog to walk where you want for a couple of weeks to a month, while using the marker word, he should find that Elly just naturally takes a left turn at the corner instead of trying to cross the street to take the longer route.

Although this will require some additional work, this is an easy way to get a dog to walk the path you want, provided the dog practices once a day or so for a couple of weeks. The benefit of positive dog training is that with enough practice, this new shorter walk will become Elly’s preferred option. No more dog stops on the walk.

Its no fun when your dog refuses to continue walking, but its always important to understand why. In Elly’s case, she may be experiening some pain from arthritis. If this is the case, it would be cruel and unhealthy to continue those walks. Fortunately for Elly, her guardian recognized that situation.

One tip I regret not sharing in the session is he may want to take Elly to places where she can people and dog watch. While discomfort may be the big factor here, Elly may also just like to watch. So adding in a dog and people watching time each week may help satisfy thqat its for Elly.

We wrapped the session up by filming a roadmap to success summary video to help the guardian remember all of the tips we shared in this West LA in-home dog training session.

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This post was written by: David Codr