How to Upkeep Training When you Move to a New Living Space

As a professional Salt Lake City dog trainer, I love to share my personal experiences with dog training.  Salt Lake City is a great place to live and relocating can happen.  I personally am experiencing the moving process now. As result, I thought it would be helpful for my Salt Lake City dog training clients to receive feedback on creating dog training success during a “move”.

Below I am listing obstacles and solutions that will be helpful for you during the moving process. I will also explain how I resolved these issues personally with my dog.  Please remember that even though you are moving, you must commit to dog training and consider how moving affects your dog to create obedience!

1.) Territorial barking may occur as people move objects / boxes in and out of your previous living space to your new living space. You can help reduce this or eliminate this problem by using management.  One way to do this is to have your dog stay at someone else’s living space while you move.  You can also consider a safe doggie daycare. Also, consider keeping your dog in an enclosed room or crate. Give your dog a food oriented objects to chew on such as a bully stick or a frozen kong with peanut butter to relax him.

When we moved, I shut Seiki in my bedroom and gave him two frozen Kongs to chew on.  As a result he was very quiet.

2.) Also some dogs will bark when people knock at the door.  Consider leaving your dog unlocked if you live in a safe neighborhood and allow the helpers to quietly enter without having to knock.  If this doesn’t work for you because you don’t live in a safe neighborhood, consider management as suggested above.

During my move, I texted all of my helpers and let them know that it would be very helpful if they walked into my apartment and did not knock.  I also told them in the text message that my door was unlocked.  As a result, Seiki’s obedience was amazing and he was pretty quiet.

3.) There are many dogs that will want to run out of the door as objects and boxes are moved in and out.  Remember to consider safety first and think ahead so you can create good solutions to prevent this.  Management again is a good option put your dog in enclosed room with a sign that requests that your helpers do NOT open this door. You can also lock this door.  As stated above crating and having your dog stay somewhere else can be helpful.  Another option is to delegate someone to support you with dog training.  The person is in charge of your dog during the move so that if an accident does occur with a door being left open etc. your dog is immediately redirected to perform ultimate obedience by being requested to “come,” “stay,” “wait,” or leave it.

I had Seiki enclosed in my bedroom. Most of the boxes were outside of my bedroom. However, there was a point when I had to move some items out of my bedroom  As a result, when Seiki wanted to follow people out the door, my roommate and I trained Seiki with treats and the clicker to help him stay indoors.

We hope the above suggestions support you with dog training.  Salt Lake City has many opportunities and places to live. Moving can be fun experience if you are proactive and support your dog in performing obedience.

Immediately after you move dog training needs to continue in order to create ultimate obedience.  There are many things to consider after the move.

1.) You will have boxes that your dog may want to get into and chew on.  Make sure you use management with this especially if you have a puppy.  Any boxes that have food items should be emptied ASAP or put in a place high up where your dog cannot reach them.  When you are not at home, if your dog chews frequently or has had significant chewing issues in the past I would highly recommend that you do not leave your dog alone with the boxes.  Consider crating your dog or putting your dog in a room.  Give your dog plenty of to do as well so that he doesn’t get bored (bully sticks and Kongs are options).

When I leave my new place, I put Seiki in my bedroom or I gate him away from the boxes. I also give him a bully stick, a Kong, and / or  his buster cube.  So far he hasn’t chewed up anything!  Yea to obedience!

2.) When people come to your new place let go of perfection and continue training.  Your dog will need to generalize his quiet and settle behaviors in this environment so consider re-training a bit on settle (lessening jumping), going to his “place,” etc.

In the past and at my new place, I have people text me when they arrive and them have them knock quietly.  I then ask Seiki to go to his “place” to help him settle.  Because my place isn’t currently organized Seiki’s place is not in the perfect place right now. I have it near the door and that is good enough for now. It is more important to be consistent with dog training than to be attached to his place being in the perfect spot.

3.) Be prepared that when you take your dog out he may bark more or pull on the leash more.  This is partially because you are in a new area and the quiet and loose leash walking behaviors need to be generalized.  Breath take a step back and re-train.

In my new place, Seiki wanted to pull me down the stairs.  We immediately began retraining loose leash walking with clicks and treats.  In just a few days, he began walking on the leash nicely. There is more people traffic at the new place which leaves him more opportunities to bark.  To lesson this, I am re-training his “Look at That” command.  He is definitely remembering the command and settles quickly.  However, he needs the reminder frequently here.

4.) Your dog may not generalize “wait” at the door in your new place.  I would advise that you retrain this command to help your dog generalize this command in his new environment.

Seiki ran out the door, at our new place and barked at our neighbor.  He immediately came back with his “come” command.  I have now been leashing him before opening the door.  I also have been reinforcing his “wait” command more frequently when the door is open.

Consider hiring a professional Salt Lake City dog trainer if you need additional training support in your new place.  We personally love supporting our clients with dog training. Salt Lake City is our main training area.  We also have upcoming group obedience courses!

Your Turn! We want to hear from you in a comment below!

What training or behavioral issues are you having during your move?  What are some actions you can perform differently to create ultimate obedience?

Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training, Salt Lake City

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  1. Star

    Thank you for the tips, Johanna. I am considering moving and this is very helpful. If I get a new home, I would hope that the property has a fenced in area before I get there! And make sure the tags are updated as soon as possible.

    • fourleggedscholars

      I am glad that was helpful for you! Please let us know if you can support you any further and best wishes on your move!