This one simple trick will improve your dog’s attention outside, according to an expert

Dog looking at owner
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The new year has arrived which means only one thing: it’s time to set some goals. If you’ve been meaning to brush up on your dog training, now is the perfect time to get started and we’re here to help you along the way. 

Whether it’s finding out how to stop a dog from barking in their crate, visiting the best travel destinations for dogs, or improving your dog’s responsiveness, we have everything you need to get started.

If your goal is the latter, the experts at JW Dog Training & Behavior Consulting have shared a clever trick that you can try on your next walk. It promises to build your dog’s attention outside and help you to feel more confident in their responsiveness. Here’s what you need to know: 

First things first: repetition is key. JW Dog Training explains that while “getting your dog’s attention outside might feel like an impossible task, starting small and breaking the behavior down can have a huge impact”. 

The next time you’re out with your dog, feed them one of the best dog treats and walk a short distance away from them while they eat. When they follow you without a cue, say “Yes!” and reward them with another treat. 

You can also reward them when they walk next to you, look at you, come up to you, or orient to you. This will teach them that it’s worth paying attention and by practicing this exercise frequently, your dog will start to create a habit of it. 

The results? A responsive dog who wants to listen, and an owner who feels confident when it comes to walk time. 

Want to make this year more exciting? Here are 12 clever ways to have more fun with your dog on walks. For more training tips, check out these 32 common dog behavior problems and solutions.


If you plan on giving this trick a go, remember to pack some tasty treats in your bag. Merrick’s Power Bites are a great budget-friendly option that contains real beef, fruits, and vegetables. And if your dog has an allergy or sensitive digestive system, you’ll be pleased to hear that these are free from grains, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy. 

Megan Milstead
Staff Writer

Megan is a Staff Writer on PetsRader, covering news, features and buying guides. She has a wealth of experience looking after animals, having grown up with dogs, cats and horses all of her life. She’s particularly interested in pet happiness and behavior, which she loves to research in her spare time. You’ll often find her watching webinars on reactivity in dogs or researching cat body language. She loves going the extra mile for her cats Chilli and Nala (who also help out with testing the best products for our buying guides). 

Megan studied BA Journalism at the University of Westminster, where she specialized in lifestyle journalism and was editor of Smoke Radio’s online magazine. She also graduated from West Herts College with a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Journalism. Before joining the PetsRadar family last year, she worked on the editorial team at Harrods and has spent most of her career writing for specialized titles, like RunningShoesGuru, Licklist and Mr. After Party. 

Megan works alongside qualified vets and accredited trainers to ensure you get the best advice possible. She is passionate about finding accurate and helpful answers to your pet-related questions.