In dog training, consistency, not time, is the key to your success. Often times I find that owners get lazy (their dog training lacks consistency), they put their dog training off to the last minute or they just don’t do the work at all.
I think many dog owners don’t do the work because they think that dog or obedience training is very time-consuming and they just don’t have that kind of time.
I’ll agree, time is one commodity we are finding we have less and less of these days.
Rather than worrying about the time it will take you to get your dog to do what you want (the end result), “discover the value and benefits of being in the training process.” You’ll wake up one day and realize you’ve achieved your end result – and you’ve enjoyed the ride!
Let me explain
It no doubt will take “some” time to train your dog but not as much time as you may think. There are two places in your relationship with your dog where obedience training should be; in formal training sessions and in “discovering the value and benefits of being in the training process with your dog.”
Formal training sessions
One place is in formal training sessions with your dog (this is where you think you see the time issue I believe.)
Here’s how to better view your time issue on training. Limit your dog obedience training to only 6 minutes a day. That’s right, only 6 minutes a day. AND, don’t do the 6 minutes all at once.
Break it down into 3 short 2 minute training sessions each day. Put time in between the sessions for you to do other important stuff for you. Your dog needs time to think about his lessons anyway.
Time is not important. BUT, being consistent is the key. Who doesn’t have 6 minutes a day for their dog?
Practice sits and downs consistently each day without distractions at first. Then gradually add distractions that will be relevant to your situation; i.e. visitors at the front door or stay off the furniture.
Always train your dog on a leash or long line depending on what you are working. Being consistent with leash and line work, especially around visitors, keeps the message the same – you are in control.
Always use high value training treats. Never allow your dog to predict what you are going to use on any given day as a treat. Consistently keep him guessing by switching the treat choices each day. Don’t forget lavish praise for doing a great job. It will be important to wean him off treats properly so that he works “just for the praise.”
Be consistent in presenting yourself as a strong leader. How do you do this? Provide rules, boundaries and expectations he can live up to for you by keeping him on an earn-to-learn program. He must do at least a sit for everything he wants.
So what’s the common thread? Consistency! Not time. You will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Keep your training simple by listing your dog’s behavior problems: (jumping),
what causes them (visitor)
and then what you would prefer your dog do instead (sit to greet.)
Simply put in your 3 – 2 minute training sessions each day (6 minutes total) and before you know it you will have a perfect pooch!
Discover the value & benefits of being in the training process
The other place is “discovering the value and benefits of being in the training process with your dog.”
The value of the training process is: growing a relationship between you and your dog with your teaching your dog how to succeed in our world.
Not making your dog into something different, but taking his natural instincts and using those to help him understand rules, boundaries and our expectations.
The value is a better relationship with your dog.
The benefits are clearly a well behaved dog for you – in public and private.
Here’s how this works
As you normally interact with your dog every day, begin to be aware of the many, many opportunities to ask your dog for a sit that could be lost if you don’t think about it in the moment.
Here are some opportunities to get your dog to “ask” you for stuff he wants
Sit to greet you when you get up in the morning.
Sit before you let him outside to go potty and sit before he comes back inside.
Sit for food.
Sit to put his leash on for his morning walk.
Sit in the house before he goes for his morning walk.
Sit frequently on his morning walk – at curbs and more.
Sit before you go back inside the house.
Sit for affection.
Sit for a game of fetch or tug and a sit to end the game as well.
Sit to say goodbye for work.
My guess is you could be requiring more sits of your dog than you are now – if you think about it.
Train your mind to remember to ask – and ask consistently. They all begin to add up. You’ll be glad you did.
This relationship training with sits creates “clear expectations” of life rules for your dog that you and he will appreciate for years to come. A simple sit opens the doors to many things for your dog.
Work together with your dog to create a nurturing environment in which he thrives.
A thriving dog is a well-behaved dog. Remove your dog’s stress, practice with patience, and give your dog what he needs – a roadmap to success.
A positive dog training program with food treats is not only extremely good for you and your dog, if done correctly and consistently it can create an incredible “relationship-building” quality and doesn’t require nearly the amount of time you might expect. Trust me.
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“Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell, professional dog trainer for 25+ years, serving 8500+ clients, has a profound understanding of dog behavior and the many things, we as humans, do that influence that behavior – good or bad. Jim has the ability to not only steer dogs and puppies down the right path but to also train the owners to understand their part in having a great dog. His Ground Rules for Great Dogs is the culmination of these years of training into an easy, step-by-step way to teach your dog how to be a great family member.