Finding Time to Train Your Dog

Favorite excuse #1: I didn’t have time to train!

Work. Family. House. Yard. Kids. Parents. Laundry. Errands. Sleep. With so many demands on your personal time every week, who has time to train the dog? The answer: everyone!

time to train excuse - ran out of timeDog training classes are typically about an hour long because they only meet weekly, it takes time to get to the training center (and home again), and they have multiple things to do within a single session. This doesn’t mean your practice sessions should all be lengthy. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

If you make your training fun and game-oriented and keep your training sessions short, you and your dog will both look forward to training and your dog will learn quickly. Effective training sessions can be as short as 3 to 5 minutes. That means there are lots of opportunities to fit training into your life, without having to disrupt your schedule or take time out for a lengthy training session. One thing that can facilitate a quick training session is having training supplies handy. Consider keeping a small tin of tasty treats stocked and waiting in the locations where you’re most likely to train. Put a few treats in your pocket when you change into your casual clothes after work and when you dress on your days off.

Finding Time to Train

time to train excuse - oversleptHere are some ideas for fitting training into your life without driving yourself crazy:

  • Train on the way to the mailbox – and back again
  • Ask your dog for a single behavior to earn something he wants (like going out the door or getting access to his dinner dish)
  • Train during a TV commercial break
  • Grab a small handful of treats and train until they’re gone
  • Train while the coffee brews or the tea steeps
  • Train until the microwave timer goes off
  • Train while the pot on the stove comes “to a simmer”
  • Train while the tub fills for the kids’ baths (or yours!)
  • Train while your significant other goes to the kitchen for drinks and snacks – when the milk and cookies arrive, you’re done!

This list should give you some ideas, but there have to be lots more … give it a little thought and then make yourself a list of when you might “sneak in a little time to train”!