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  • Danai Synadinou

Top tips on bomb-proofing your dog

The 3Ds

What does the 3Ds stand for?

- Distractions

- Distance

- Duration

How are these useful?

Any time we train something new, whether it is a new cue, improve their focus on us or we want to help our dogs get used to a new sound in the environment, it is good to keep these in mind.

Breaking everything new in pieces, the 3Ds are the different layers to add gradually so that we set our dogs up for success.

Because each and every one of these is something that our dog might struggle with and recognising and accepting them is the first step in helping them be more focused and more resilient.

How do we apply this in real life scenarios?


This is a big one! The following can all be very distracting to a dog...

  • New smells,

  • Noises,

  • Other people,

  • Dogs,

  • Cars,

  • Moving scooters,

  • Balls,

  • Kids,

  • Other animals,

Real life scenario:

- Start training a specific cue in our living room, then work in the garden, front of our house, outside the park, etc.

- Every time there is a new sound or smell in the environment we try to recognise this and grasp the opportunity for some more training.

- Work up the level of distractions a dog can handle and still respond to us.


There are two categories for this:

  • Distance from you when giving a cue (such as come, sit, down, touch etc)

  • Distance from something that is a Distraction (such as another dog, kids playing ball etc)

  • Distance from something that is scary (loud noises, funky smells)

Real life scenarios:

- Start training a cue right next to our dog and gradually moving a bit further away.

- Start working on recall away from other dogs and gradually moving closer.

- Engage in play at the distance from a scary noise your dog can focus and engage with you and gradually move closer.


The way I see it, there are a few types of duration to consider:

  • Duration of a training session,

  • Duration to hold a cue (a position, eye contact, touch)

  • Duration to focus on work during the presence of certain stimuli.

  • Duration of remaining calm in a certain situation.

Real life scenarios:

- Initially reward the moment your dog's bum touches the ground when you ask for a sit, then reward for holding the sit for 1 second, and gradually pause for a little bit longer and a little bit longer between the position and the reward.

- Start training for 5' in a new environment and gradually build up the focus of your dog.

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