Anyone training a dog knows how important it is to practice consistently. Dogs and people can make great strides in skill by short, regular training times. Here are some tips for conducting successful training sessions with your canine friend.
- Short training times. Three to five minutes several times a day can work wonders!
- When teaching your dog a new skill, make sure to work in a distraction-free environment. Add challenges when your dog understands the new skill.
- No interruptions. Leaving your dog in the middle of a training session can be a very negative experience for him or her.
- Be prepared! Do you have clicker and treats? What exercises are you going to practice? What specific goals are you aiming for in this session? Reread your handouts if necessary to review training steps.
- If you’re not feeling well or are too tired, then it’s fine to skip a session or a day. Come back to training when you’re feeling eager to teach your dog.
- The same considerations also apply to your dog. If she’s tired, ill, or full, wait to train until she’s eager, alert, and hungry.
- End a training session on a high note—leave your dog wanting more!
- Most important—set yourself and your dog up for success! Arrange the circumstances to maximize the chance of success for you and your dog.
This blog entry is adapted from the Savvy Canines handout entitled “Training Time.” See the “Training Time” handout for more information.