Jumping the fence, accidents in the house, chewed furniture, and even bites are all anticipatable and preventable behaviors!  Avoiding triggers with good environmental management will keep your dog from strengthening undesirable behaviors.   Anticipating the common pitfalls of dog behavior could prevent your dog from learning the wrong thing in the first place.  

You won’t be able to eliminate a problematic behavior if you allow your dog to practice the behavior you want to go away.  Environmental Management reduces stress and sets your dog up for success by creating a predictable, safe environment.


Environmental management builds trust between you and your dog by eliminating sources of contention.  This increases your dog’s chances of making good choices and improves his odds of getting good things from you.  Your dog won’t have to guess about what they are or are not allowed to do which will increase his confidence and make him feel safe.

Environmental management stream lines the learning process by removing the ‘wrong’ choice from your dog’s behavioral opportunities.  Your dog will trust that engaging with you will result in positive and low stress outcomes.  


Here are some common scenarios that cause many dog owners avoidable stress and struggle.  Consider implementing strategies such as these to better manage your dog and reduces the incidence of misbehavior in your home so that you can relax!

  • House Training – Limit your dog to easy to clean surfaces and block access to unsupervised areas.  Keep your dog on leash when out of the kennel or confine when not supervised.  Set a Timer to remind you to take your dog outside regularly
  • Fence Jumping/ Running Away – Use a leash for potty breaks or a steel cable tie out or trolley when out in the yard.  An enclosed outdoor run is another option
  • Biting/Jumping/Barking at Guests – Confine your dog during guest entries/exits.  Keep your dog on leash when not confined.  Use a visual barrier to break the line of sight.
  • Dog plays Keep Away – keep items out of reach of dog, limit dog to a ‘dog proof’ space using baby gates, exercise pen, or tether.  Let your dog drag a leash to more easily get a hold of them.


Here are many of the recommended tools of environmental management and examples of situations in which they prove beneficial.

Leash – typically for training you’ll use either a 6′ or 15′ non-retractable leash.  A 6′ leash is best in tight confines like veterinary lobbies or when walking on busy traffic ways to keep your dog from jumping, scratching, or biting.  A 15′ leash on walks can give your dog the freedom to explore and move around comfortably in their environment which can effectively mitigate a lot of social pressure

Tether – often a steel cable coated in plastic, a tether is great for fence jumpers or yards that have no fence.   It limits a dog’s access to the fence line and can make them easier to reel in if your dog avoids coming inside.  Tethers can also be used indoors and attached to sturdy fixtures.

Drag Leash – A light weight 4-6′ leash or cord is great particularly for keeping puppies out of trouble getting a hold of shy or avoidant dogs without having to touch them.  Attach the leash to their collar and the puppy or dog can simply drag the leash behind them.  A short leash worn in the house can keep your dog from playing keep away or jumping on counters or people.  It will make them easier to hurry outside for potty training.  

Crate – Confining your dog to a small kennel or manageable space is a solution for many dog training issues such as soiling the house, destructive chewing, or inappropriate greetings.

Exercise Pen – This portable means of confinement can create a dog proofed enclosure when secured to itself in a ring or can be stretched out to block of parts of the home that won’t accommodate a gate.  

Visual Block – these may include sheets covering a kennel or exercise pen or contact paper over doors and windows.  These break your dog’s line of sight with triggers.

Calming Supplements – dogs who are chronically stressed may benefit from supplements such as Composure or CBD treats.  Other modalities may include Thundershirts or Adaptil.  



An Exercise Pen corals a young puppy making it easy to keep her out of trouble and potty train her!


A Drag Line is utilized to help this adolescent dog make good choices and keep him out of undesirable areas.


A dog may be tethered to sturdy door knobs by looping the leash handle over the door knob on the back of the door and running it underneath the closed door to attach it to your dog.


An Airlock utilizes two gates at least a yard apart to create dead space between them can be especially helpful in managing multiple dog households.


Pick one behavior that you wish your dog would do less frequently.  How will you prevent your dog’s ability to engage in the behavior in question going forward?