Garden Chaos – Super Supervision from Devon Dogs

What is your dog getting up to when they are in the garden?  Do they casually sniff, go to the toilet and calmly mooch around or do they cause chaos and go bananas, digging up the flower beds, barking etc?

All dogs are different, but what is common for all is dogs is that they will always do what they have always done.  So, if you don’t think a particular behaviour that your dog is doing in the garden is appropriate, the first port of call is to manage the situation. Supervise them, pop them on a long line, limit their time out in the garden and this might be to the extent that for now the garden is only for toilet breaks.

Training is part of solving the struggle, absolutely, but managing your dog’s choices also plays a massive part in turning struggles around.

Take the Game Outside

If you would like more calmness from your dog out in the garden, rehearse the room! Rehearse the room means actively thinking about what choices you would like your dog to make in that space and coming up with a training plan, so those choices become something your dog offers automatically….it becomes something they just do!

If your dog goes gaga outside, take your calmness games and apply them to the garden.  We very much understand that we need to train and play games appropriate to inside the house and we understand the importance of growing calmness inside the house, but all too often the garden is forgotten! Think of your garden as just another room. Some examples of calmness games and activities you can apply to your garden are:

    • Scatter Feeding
    • Boundary Games
    • Calm Massage
    • Enjoying a long-lasting chew or Kong
    • Slow Feeding

Troublesome Toileting

Picture this scenario; you are in a bit of a rush, you are just about to head off to work, and before you do, you let your dog out to the garden to go to the toilet. However, your dog has other ideas, and finds everything in the garden too amusing and too distracting to think about relieving themselves!  Sounds like a struggle you sometimes have.  Frustrating, right?

Dogs have got to be calm and in the right headspace to think about going to the toilet….but there is one thing that will help. Putting going to the toilet on cue. Here’s how:

    • Catch your dog in the act
    • As they are going, say a verbal cue – we use “hurry, hurry”
    • Then mark and reward once they are done

Over time your dog will pair your verbal cue with the act of going to the toilet, the ultimate result being that they will react to your verbal cue and go to the toilet when you say it. This is called capturing in dog training terms. This will not only help with those times where you are in a bit of a rush, but it’ll also help if you dog is rather fussy about bathroom location or going to the toilet on lead.

We hope you enjoy these training tips, and just to let you know that as well as face to face training, we are also offering online classes where you can join us and train your dog from the comfort of your own home. Check out our website for more details. To learn more about how we can help you, visit our website:, or email [email protected]

We wish all our students, both new and old, a very Happy New Year!