6 Easy Ways to Train Your Dog Every Day
Whether you’re teaching your dog a new trick or brushing up on the basics, the key to success is to tackle training a bit every day!
Many people assume that once a dog graduates from the puppy phase, your job in training him is finished. In reality, training is a lifelong pursuit for dogs and their owners. Once your dog masters the basics of obedience training you won’t have to review those basic skills often, but you do need to keep working with your dog to reinforce his training and to keep his mind sharp.
How Much Time Should You Spend on Training Each Day?
When your dog is still a puppy, you should expect to spend a significant amount of time on basic obedience training until he gets the hang of them. It’s important, however, that you break up your training sessions throughout the day so your puppy doesn’t get bored.
Related: Teaching Your Dog to Leave It
The proper length for your training sessions will vary according to your puppy’s age, his intelligence level, and his ability to pay attention. Some dogs can only pay attention for 10 to 15 minutes at a time while others can go for a full hour of training. Your best bet is to start with a training session in the morning and go until your dog starts to lose focus. Give him a break for a few hours then come back to the training in the afternoon. You can also end each day with a quick 15-minute training session before bed to tire your dog out.
Six Simple Ways to Train Your Dog Every Day
Obedience training is an ongoing thing for dog owners – even after your dog masters the basic commands you should still work with him on a daily basis to reinforce and build upon those commands. Here are six simple things you can do every day to reinforce your dog’s training:
- Ask your dog to sit before you give him anything – his meals, treats, and even his favorite toys. Teaching your dog to sit ensures that you have his full attention and it will prevent him from jumping up on you.
Related: 6 Cool Tricks to Teach Your Dog
- Reinforce your dog’s stay. Throughout the day, ask your dog to sit or lie down then tell him to stay while you go about your business – it’s a great idea to do this while you prepare his meal. When you are ready to release your dog, place the bowl on the ground and say “Okay”.
- Teach your dog to wait. Teaching your dog to stay is great for longer periods, but a “Wait” command can be used as a short-term hold. For example, when you’re getting ready to take your dog to the park, tell him to sit then wait while you attach his leash, then release him.
- Train your dog to “leave it”. Teaching your dog to Stay or Wait is good for a delayed release, but teaching your dog to Leave It means that he cannot have the thing he wants. This is important for your dog’s safety because he may not know when something is harmful to him – it’s also a great tool for preventing problem behaviors.
- Teach your dog proper leash etiquette. You take your dog for a walk every day, so use your walks as a mini training session to reinforce good leash behavior and other obedience commands.
- Make training sessions fun. Your dog is going to absorb more from your training sessions if he is actively engaged and he’ll only be engaged if he’s having fun. Be generous with praise and treats during quick daily training sessions and cut it short if either of you becomes frustrated.
Training your dog isn’t just about making him obedient to your commands. It is also about fostering a relationship based on trust and respect. If you treat your dog with respect, he’ll be more eager to please you… by happily doing everything you ask of him.