The most important feature of dog training is that it be fun for both dog and owner. Being excited about what you are doing is such a great motivator for all involved!!
If you are starting out a new puppy, then you want to be sure to keep the lessons short and upbeat so that the young dog doesn’t get bored or overwhelmed. As well, if you are showing an older dog a new exercise you do not want to burn them out. In both cases, the key is to be able to recognize when the dog is beginning to understand the concept and is getting it right a few times.
Always end each encounter on a good note. You can always go back later and provide another brief session. Also, take advantage of tiny training moments when you can have your dog practice a skill while you get ready for work, make dinner, etc. These random times are invaluable as they are applicable to real life!!!!!
When your dog is farther along in his training and you have an entire repertoire to review with added distractions, you may expand your training times to twenty minutes or so. Naturally, if on a particular day your time is spent implementing your dog’s skills during an outing, the duration will be longer yet not as intensive.
I find that now since dog training is much more positive and enjoyable, that I tend to want to go back again frequently and work the dog. It is so rewarding to see those small “wins” for the dog! Also, you seem to get farther quicker!!
- Train using positive reinforcement, make it fun!
- Don’t exhaust your dog.
- Train with your dog when you are both fresh
- Work with your dog before his meal.
- Be a smart trainer, know when to stop ending on a good note.