Managing Your Dog’s Environment.

Training your dog is crucial to a good relationship with your dog. However, in some circumstances, managing your dog’s environment is important too. Read our Holidays4Dogs article to find out more.

There are many situations where managing your dog’s environment will be helpful. Engineering your dog’s environment during a period of training, for example, will help you progress faster. In some cases, it can be used as a means of replacing unworkable training outcomes.

Management the dog’s environment is certainly important while you are trying to teach your dog more appropriate behaviours. A good example is teaching your dog not to counter surf. 

In this particular case, it makes good sense never to leave anything on the counter to tempt your dog. This means ensuring work tops are kept free from any foodstuffs, crumbs, bread bins, etc.

Removing temptation.

Your training programme needs to take into account how you are going to stop your dog from being rewarded for the behaviour you do not want. In the case of counter surfing, you need to prevent your dog from rewarding him, or herself, with items from the counter. This is especially important for times when you are not around.

Another example may involve a dog that chews all manner of household items such as shoes, wires and clothing. This is common behaviour with puppies; (and is perfectly normal while they are teething).

However, by removing all loose, chewable items from every room and providing him with safe alternatives, you are likely to have a lot more success.

There are some instances where management techniques alone will suffice. For example, if you want to stop your dog from drinking out of the toilet bowl, close the lid. Keep the bathroom door closed at all times.

Weigh up the effort it would take to train the dog not  to drink from the toilet bowl, against training members of the household to remember to keep the door closed!

At the other end of the scale, managing your dog alone without paying attention to training, or behaviour issues, may very well end up in failure. This is an important factor to consider as there may be various consequences.

For example, if it is simply a case of your dog accidentally having access to the toilet bowl once in a while, this is a minor fail. However, if you are keeping doors shut to stop your dog from biting visitors, the consequences of not doing so could be disastrous. In this case, training and behaviour modification is a crucial element. Seek help from an experienced trainer, or behaviourist.

Managing the environment to help the nervous dog.

Managing the environment is important when it comes to helping the nervous, or reactive dog. If your dog is nervous of other dogs, or people for example, putting him in the deep end and expecting him to cope with crowded places is unlikely to help the situation.

Gradually expose your dog to people and other dogs using positive reinforcement training and start in quiet places. This way, you are much more likely to succeed. If you want to know more about how to help nervous dogs you can read our other Holidays4Dogs article here and here.


Managing your dog’s environment can often be the difference between success and failure. By being mindful of your dog’s overall experiences, you can help your dog to learn faster in a positive way. There are many committed dog owners who have well thought out approaches to managing their dogs. Setting your dog up for success is most definitely an important factor in a happy dog and owner partnership.