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  • Writer's pictureRed Dog Run Training

Finding time to train is hard.

There. I said it. For busy dog owners, it is always tough to find time to train our dogs or puppies. This is especially true trying to juggle time with our pups with jobs, kids, friends, or needs of elderly family members.

When we train together, it is most often in an hourly chunk of time. Part of that training is for the dog, but part of it is spent making sure you as the owner understand not only what we are doing, but why we are doing it. Learning how to implement management and training solutions is part of that process as well.

The good news is that dogs don't need hours upon hours of time devoted to their training.

A border collie in a relaxed Down under a chair
Zora practicing relaxed Down position

Here are some ideas to make the most out of your training time:

  • Small but Mighty: Spend 3-5 minutes at most each time you practice. Or, alternatively, I like to think about training in number of repetitions. Can I get 5 Sits while I'm waiting for my coffee? Do this throughout the day and you will have a more effective Sit in no time!

  • Training Walks and other Opportunities: On a day off, I may go up and down the stairs to do laundry a couple times a day. Each one of those trips is a great opportunity to practice our "Wait!" cue. Before going to the bathroom, I ask my dog to "Backup" (move away from the door) and "Wait" before going outside. Opening any door is always a chance to practice even the briefest of Sits. Walks are prime time to work on your Sit, nice walking behaviors, and Leave It.

  • Doing Nothing: Much of the time, we want our dogs to be happy doing nothing. When we are watching tv or on the computer, we usually want them to chill out or entertain themselves. Instead of just doing nothing, practice that "Go to Bed" or "Place" cue while you are watching your favorite show.

  • Incorporate Training into Life: Spring is beginning here, and that means for us patio time at our local restaurants with our dog. To prepare, when it just starts to get a little warmer, I take my dog, a towel and a ton of treats to my local coffee shop and reward for any nice behavior that I see. This way, I do my coffee run with a little training on the side. For something easier, have your dog practice their Sit Stay while trying to open the door to grab a package.

Lastly, if there are days that you are too busy to train, give yourself a break! Dogs need breaks too! Hopefully, these tips can help you find some time to train with your pal.

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