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Don’t complain. Train!

April 24, 2013
Minnow the Chinook photo by Kathleen RileyIMG_0388_cropped
Minnow the Chinook photo by Kathleen Riley IMG_0388_cropped

Every dog needs basic manners because this ensures his safety as well as giving you peace of mind. Basic training also provides the framework for more advanced training work and helps your dog reach his full potential.

When Should I Start?

You should start immediately by teaching your dog the rules that apply in your home. This is really important because if there are no rules in place, your dog will makes up his own set of rules. Good or bad, the training starts the instant those feet come through the front door.

How Often Should I Train?

Shorter session spread throughout the day work best, but do what you can given your schedule. The biggest key is being consistent and spending time every day training your dog. Remember, even a few minutes is beneficial for your dog’s development and if the sessions are short and fun with lots of praise, he’ll look forward to working with you.

Daily training sessions help with learning and are a great chance to practice skills. If you really want to make it easier on yourself, incorporate these new skills into his daily life too so the training is reinforced and it becomes a good habits.

How Long Should the Sessions Last?

Short and sweet will help your dog be more successful. Several 5-minute sessions through the day is ideal, but if you can do 10 to 20 minutes at a time that works too. The shorter sessions are far better than drilling the dog endlessly on commands. If you are working with a puppy, keep your sessions between 3-5 minutes, spaced throughout the day with at least a half-hour break in between – their little brains do best with shorter work times with more breaks and more fun. No matter what age your dog, more frequent sessions with shorter periods of time will give you better results.

Once you see how much you and your dog enjoy this time together those shorter sessions will start appearing when you have a few spare minutes. Before you know it you’ll be adding in extra sessions and your dog will be improving even more quickly.

If you have a fast learner, one session may be enough to teach certain exercises. If that’s the case, use your other sessions to review skills your dog has already learned. Some dogs aren’t quick studies, and you may need to repeat the same lesson 3-4 times a day until he gets the idea. Just remember to stay flexible and remain upbeat. You want the dog to enjoy the training times, not dread them.

Here are five basic commands to work on with your dog:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Heel — or in a less formal moving forward manner, “Let’s Go”

Do you have a tip or review to share? Let us know so others can benefit from your knowledge. Email us anytime, and tell us your story.

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From → Animals, Dogs, Pets

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