Most city dwellers never think of training their dogs in alleys. Many people think of alleys as being unsanitary as well as unsafe. But alleys are a great place to train a dog because there is little traffic and very few people.
If you are going to use an alley, make sure you find a clean alley in your neighborhood that is free from broken glass and strewn garbage. Also be on the lookout for cars exiting garages. Alleys are a great option if you don’t have a backyard or if you only have a limited amount of time to play with your dog and don’t have the time to go to the park.
Before entering an alley, the same methods should be used as in crossing streets. The dog should sit at the curb and you should practice street identification techniques. Cars don’t always stop at alleys before entering the street.
Alleys are a great place to play games with your dog. You can play a game of fetch, especially if you can get a friend to stand at one end of the alley so your puppy can’t take off from you. You can also bounce a ball against a brick garage and have your dog chase the ball. Clean areas around garbage cans and dumpsters also make a great place to play hide and seek with your dog while using your whistle.
I like alleys because there may be times when you don’t want to go to the park and compete with other dogs for your puppy’s attention. There is nothing wrong with playing with him in an alley before you let him graduate to the dog clubs in your park. You can also invite a couple of friends to have their dogs play with your dog in the alley too.
If your dog happens pick up garbage in the alley, then this is a great place to teach the “Drop it” and “Leave it” commands. Always have motivators on hand to distract him from objects he shouldn’t be putting in his mouth.
Exercising your dog in the city will give you a healthier and more confident dog. The city is full of obstacles and environments that act as agility courses. Don’t get me wrong, of course parks are a great environment for your dog but why limit yourself to taking your dog only to the park? Give your dog as much mental and physical stimulation as possible. When training your dog in different city environments, use common sense by not putting yourself or your dog in dangerous situations.
Your dog will even see a short errand with you as something fun and exciting. He’ll be thinking: “Now where are we going? What kind of fun are we going to have today?” Every walk will be an adventure. All your dog’s senses will be in optimal use. And as you train your dog in different city environments, you will feel more confident about taking him almost anywhere with you.