Out and About

Are you and your dog ready for some challenges in the real world?

A store is a fabulous spot to train your dog. The following is a compilation of some ideas to help you practice. Use them as a springboard for your own creative training ideas. Your instructor can help you determine if you and your dog are ready for these challenges, and help decide the best public places and times to practice them. Practice in public places with your instructor to gain understanding of how to work with your dog in distracting, real-life situations. That way, you’ll have the proper tools in your toolbox before heading out on your own. Be sure to have fun!!

Note: As always, we want you and your dog to achieve success. Head for these challenges only if the preliminary work has been done and you and your instructor believe that you and your dog are ready for them. Tips: Always be aware of what your dog is doing. Consider these outings training times instead of shopping trips until your dog is well-practiced.

  • Go to different areas of the store and browse. What is an appropriate behavior for your dog in various departments? A Stay with Front, Down, Sit, Stand? Something else? For example, while you are looking at merchandise on a higher shelf, your dog might be in a Front. But if you are checking out things on a low shelf, a Front may not work. If you are trying on shoes, it’s probably most convenient if your dog is on some other behavior near you, since you would be moving around.
  • While you are moving around the store, practice various types of leash work. Try Let’s Go and Close (if you have practiced them both before) in various areas of the store. Add challenge to this exercise by going down aisles that have distractions, such as the dog food aisle, a food aisle, an aisle where there are other customers, someplace where employees are stocking shelves, a garden center… Look for challenging situations and head right for them! You’ll feel great when you meet them!
  • Get an item of clothing and try it on. Is there a dressing room big enough for you and your dog? What will you do with your dog while you are trying on the clothes?
  • Try on some shoes. You’ll need to walk around to see how they feel. What will your dog be doing while you’re walking around?
  • Take your dog in the restroom.
  • Visit the snack bar, if the store has one, and have (or pretend to have) a snack. Where will your dog be and what will he/she be doing?
  • Visit the garden center, if there is one. Very different challenges in a garden center! Smells, sights, even visiting birds.
  • Practice Stays in various areas of the store. Find areas of distraction that are an appropriate challenge for your dog. Note: Do not drop the leash to practice distance Stays. Take a helper to hold the leash if you want to practice distance Stays.
  • Leave It opportunities are everywhere! Opportunities will present themselves naturally, and you can provide others. For example, while your dog is in a Front/Stay, you could drop something on the ground near your dog.
  • Go through the checkout aisle.
  • Get a shopping cart and do any of the above ideas.

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Our Clients Say

“Our instructor helps both human and animal understand and accommodate to one another. We were also impressed that Kay carries out her training sessions with a kind, gentle approach—even with the pet owner!” —Pamela and Roger H. and "Fred" and "Molly"
"We own and train Australian Shepherds, and when I became disabled, my wife thought I might benefit from a Service Dog. She made a call, and I was surprised when Phyllis Allen (whom I had seen on a TV program about service dogs) came to my house to tell us about the Service Dog training program. She explained the program, assessed my needs, and met the dog I intended to use for training. I was impressed that she would come to my home to meet us and to explain how the program worked. Phyllis is a superb teacher. Savvy Canines uses a positive training method called “clicker training.” Before I met Phyllis I had never used the clicker method, and I am now convinced that it is one of the best training tools for teaching a dog complex tasks. It is definitely a thing of beauty when your dog “gets it” and accomplishes a new skill."—Bruce and “Elwood”
“The clicker training technique Savvy Canines teaches is very simple, yet powerful. Dogs actually enjoy learning tasks their partners want them to do when the clicker is used properly.”—George and “Rover”
Our trainer has helped us establish a fantastic rapport with our dog! The clicker training has been great. Our dog is attuned to our needs and anticipates my commands for helping close doors on the cabinets and the refrigerator, and thoroughly enjoys adjusting the pedals on my wheelchair! We have been especially pleased with our trainer's willingness to work around our schedule because of my medical problems.—Mr. and Mrs. Larson
"Working with Sarah is the most important thing in my life. The gentle, positive training of Savvy Canines continues to increase the amazing bond between us. As my disabilities increase, Sarah is learning new ways to help me, both at home and out in public."—Susan N. and “Sarah”
“The Savvy Canines trainers are knowledgeable, consistent, and competent and love dogs. Phyllis provides a flexible schedule, comes to my home, and the cost is reasonable and well worth it. The classes twice a month are great for Molly to meet other people and dogs and to show off what she has learned. Molly and I are very pleased with the training from Savvy Canines.”—Diane and “Molly”
“Minnie and I have worked with Savvy Canines since its inception. From the first day Minnie has loved Phyllis and the training sessions with her. Minnie loves the challenges, the games (and the attention). The one service that sets Savvy Canines apart from other training programs is the individual attention to each client. They work around your schedule, find creative ways to get tasks accomplished, and do it all in a professional, caring way. Minnie and I LOVE the trainers and the time spent learning new tasks. Thank you Savvy Canines. You are pawsitively the BEST!”—Reva and “Minnie”
“Kay (our instructor) is terrific in helping people understand their canine friends. She has a real understanding of dog behavior and is able to quickly tune in to what is going on in a human-dog relationship.” —Pamela H. and "Molly"
"I am slowly getting back into the world as I recover from my neurological disorder, and this journey toward recovery has been greatly accelerated by training and living with my Service Dog. I spoke with people who had been devastated by their illnesses and had become virtual shut-ins, and I observed how training and living with a Service Dog changed them. Their lives were transformed by getting back into the world; these folks now have the confidence to “fight the good fight.” Then one day I saw that same confidence in myself. I now go just about everywhere with my Service Dog. I want to thank Phyllis Allan and Savvy Canines for being so amazingly kind and patient with me and my dog. I would definitely recommend Savvy Canines of Arizona to anyone who is considering training a Service Dog."—Bruce and “Elwood”
“The positive reinforcement we get from trainers at Savvy Canines of Arizona is exceptional, always so patient and helpful. Chloe is a work in progress, but she does make life easier by picking up dropped objects. We could not have done this on our own.” —Susan and "Chloe"
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