It’s National Dog Training Education Month and at Muttz with Mannerz™ we love to share information about dog training with you!

In dog training, one common thing you will hear about is the three D’s. Understanding and focusing on these three key elements are going to help you be confident that your dog will be able to consistently perform almost every behaviour taught under any circumstances.

When you increase each of the D’s, it becomes more of a challenge for your dog to understand how to perform the requested behaviour successfully. If you increase all three without having trained your dog at each level, then you are setting yourself and your dog up for failure.

So what are these Three D’s?

Duration – the length of time your dog can maintain a behavior.

Distance – the distance your dog is away from you or a reward – or away from a distraction.

Distraction – this involves what is distracting your dog when they do the requested behavior.

When we are working on the three D’s, the duration, the distance, and the distractions, we want to work on them one at a time, starting with just duration first and leaving the distractions for last.

The Three D’s – Key Elements of Effective Dog TrainingOnce your dog is successful at the duration goal you have set you are ready to move on to distance. When you’re adding the second D – distance – to your training, begin with a shorter duration, and keep all distractions to a minimum.

Once you have distance and duration solid, you can now move on to adding distractions, but keep the first two D’s shorter to begin.

The goal is that you’re going to set your dog up for success in any environment.

Remember, sometimes they may not get it all the time.

If they’re struggling to perform a behavior, maybe you’ve gone too far too fast. Maybe the distractions are too high. Maybe you’re going too far with the distance, or maybe you’re expecting them to stay too long.

Look at your three D’s, the duration that you’re expecting them, the distance that you’re going, and the distractions that you’re adding. Maybe you need to go back and reinforce one of them and break it down and work on just duration again. Progress at a pace your dog can handle, reinforce and reward them. When you do it consistently, you’ll be surprised at the results that you can get wherever you are.

For more information on the Three D’s listen to our recent podcast Episode 21: The Three D’s of Dog Training with co-hosts Corey McCusker and Diane Purser.



At Muttz with Mannerz™ we have a passion for pups and want to help you raise your dog to be safe and a loving part of your family and your community for life.

To learn more about our training offerings, schedule a tour, or audit a class please contact us at 905.640.DOGS (3647) or email