Scratching the ground after your dog potties is a territorial behavior and is not appropriate for public places. If this happens, quickly move your dog away from that area. (Of course, this is easiest if/when your dog is on leash.)
If one way of shaping a behavior is not working, try something else. I.e., if you are trying to get your dog to put its two front feet on a paint can and your dog is having trouble with this behavior, try a lower object such as a board or a large lid to a bowl. Once your dog gets the idea, it will be easier to associate this behavior with higher items.
When training complex behavior, train each aspect at a time. I.e., sit/stay. In order for your dog to understand distance, you first train duration. As your dog grows confident with holding a stay for a bit of time, say 15 seconds, you can begin to introduce moving away from your dog.
This page started out as an idea to have a weekly tip posted by Renee, Waggles' UVM intern. We like these tips so much that we decided to keep all of them posted on this page. We hope you find them interesting and helpful.