How Often Should I Train My Dog?
As often as possible!
Even when you are not doing structured training sessions your dog is always learning what works for them and what doesn’t. They will try to perform behaviours and if they get something out of it they will keep performing the behaviour. Some of these may be considered undesirable and behaviours we do not like to see but they may be a normal behaviour for your dog to perform.
Try to set aside as much time as possible to put training in to practice as the more you reinforce the good behaviours and behaviours you like, the more often your dog will perform them. Sessions do not have to be long as all dogs will have an attention span and if we try to keep repeating the same thing for long periods of time they will get bored or not be able to focus anymore and stop trying.
I plan my sessions and look at what progress I can make with my dog within that session. There may be times we have to go back a couple of steps to remind our dog what we are expecting, then raise the training criteria. I keep track of where my dogs are with a training diary which is a great way to see where you are with your training goals. I always try to put my training in when doing tasks like making a cup of tea whilst the kettle is boiling I would do a little exercise with my dog. By doing short, quick sessions it is making the most out of the time you have with your dog as it is so easy to keep putting it off until tomorrow or until next week. The sooner you get started the easier it will be to change habits.
Set yourself and your dog up for success; if being outside is too exciting start training in your garden or home then build it up to an outdoor environment.
Plan training into your day by putting it into your diary so it is more likely that you will set that time aside to work with your dog. The more you practice the easier it will become with training. By making little, easy to achieve goals you will start to see positive changes in your dog’s behaviour.
People have busy lives and by investing in a puppy or dog, it is important to invest in their education and training just like we invest in our own learning by going to school, college or university.
How much time do you set aside for your dog’s training?