There is no doubt that successful dog training, even if it’s a simple come command, takes time, and in our busy lives, time is one commodity we are finding very little of these days. Positive training with food treats is not only extremely good for you and your dog, but if done correctly and consistently, it can have an incredible relationship-building quality and doesn’t require nearly the amount of time you might expect. YES – TRAIN WITH TREATS! —BUT read my blog on weaning off food treats to do it the right way! As you look at structuring your dog training, keep these simple tips in mind:
- Keep your training sessions short. If you get in quality repetitions, 2 minutes, 3 times daily will get the job done. Being consistent is the key. Who doesn’t have 6 minutes a day for their dog? You can hard boil an egg in 6 minutes!
- Practice in low distraction environments 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. Work consistently each day.
- Always train your puppy or dog on a leash or long line, depending on what you are working on. Being consistent with leash and line work 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 using more interesting and high value choices in treats.
- Be consistent in presenting yourself as a strong leader. How do you do this? Provide structure 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 inappropriate behaviors, what causes them and then what you would prefer your dog do instead. Simply put in your 3, 2 minute daily training sessions (6 minutes total) on the issues you want to control and before you know it, you will have a perfect pooch. By the way, have fun training the positive way, and remember “Opportunity Barks!” Be as comfortable with the trainer of your dog as you are the teacher of your children. Jim Burwell, Jim Burwell’s Petiquette