I often am told that people simply do not have time to practice with their dogs. While setting aside time to spend one on one with your dog is ideal, I completely understand that sometimes life gets busy. We are, after all, human. Even though life is full of demands, your dog still needs repetition and consistency in order to develop the behaviors that you want in your canine companion. Most people that I work with, do not realize that nearly every second spent with their dog, whether set aside or not, is time spent training. Why not integrate your dog training practice into your daily routines so that you can make the most of your time and bond with your dog? There are lots of ways to do it. Here are just a few:
SIT and DOWN: Sit and down commands should be practiced whenever you need your dog to stop moving and freeze into position. Practice down and sit stays while you answer the door, read a magazine, or brush your teeth. Whenever your dog is moving around and you want them to stop, replace the negative behavior with a positive one. Utilize those commercial breaks! You will thank me later.
PLACE: Working on Place is easily to accomplish while you watch television, eat dinner or check your email! Start with short place challenges during commercial breaks and then when your dog gets better at it, extend out to actual show segments. Put them on place while you start reading your email, see how many you can get through before your dog tries to get up! While snuggling with your dog during your downtime is often a relaxing time for many owners, this is a way to get in your practice so that when guests come, they can be just as relaxed. Don’t forget, if you don’t practice, your dog is not going to remember what to do when you need it to. Be consistent!
WAITING: Even the simple act of going through a doorway is a great opportunities for integrated practice. Have your dog do a sit/stay or a down/stay and wait at doorways. You should always go through first. Have them sit/stay or down/stay while you put down their food. Release them from their stays with a “you’re through”. This way they understand that you own the food and they are motivated to listen!
Can you think of a way to integrate your dog training practice into your everyday life? Let me know! I’d love to read your ideas.
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