There is no doubt that successful dog training, even if it’s a simple come command, takes time and in our busy lives, time is one commodity we are finding very little of these days. Positive training with food treats is not only extremely good for you and your dog, if done correctly and consistently it can have an incredible “relationship-building” quality and doesn’t require nearly the amount of time you might expect. As you look at structuring your dog training, keep these simple tips in mind:

  • Keep your training sessions short. If you get in quality repetitions, 2 minutes, 3 times daily will get the job done. Being consistent is the key. Who doesn’t have 6 minutes a day for their pup?
  • Practice in low distraction environments at first. Then gradually add distractions that will be relevant to your situation; i.e. visitors at the front door or staying off the furniture. Work consistently each day.
  • Always train your puppy or dog on a leash or long line depending on what you are working. Being consistent with leash and line work keeps the message the same – you are in control.
  • Always use high value training treats. Never allow your dog to predict what you are going to use on any given day as a treat. Consistently keep him guessing by using more interesting and high value choices in treats.
  • Be consistent in presenting yourself as a strong leader. How do I do this? Provide structure and expectations he can live up to for you by keeping him on an earn-to-learn program. He must do at least a sit for everything he wants.

So what’s the common thread? Consistency! Not time.

You will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Keep your training simple by listing your dog’s inappropriate behaviors, what causes them and then what you would prefer your dog do instead.

Simply put in your 3, 2 minute daily training sessions (6 minutes total) on your list of bad behaviors and before you know it you will have a Perfect Pooch! By the way, have fun training the positive way! And remember, “Opportunity Barks!”

(C) Jim Burwell 2010