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Dog Walk

Find Time for Dog Training in Your Busy Life!

Practice makes all the difference!

Tips to Find Time for Dog Training

In order to change your dog's behavior you will likely need to change yours. This can be especially challenging if you have a busy life and of course we are all used to our routines. To get the most bang-for-your-buck with your dog training instruction, it is really vital to make time for your dog training exercises that were recommended by your trainer.


Here are some tips to help you find that time in your schedule in a way that is easy and fun. If you slip, remember to be kind to yourself and try again, and if you succeed, reward yourself!

  • Make use of your dog's regular food!: Instead of feeding your dog from a bowl, use that kibble for training practice and for stuffing in puzzle toys and scattering it on the ground for her to find. Put some in your pocket and in little bowls around the house so you can randomly reward good behavior during the day or call your dog from another room to practice your recall. 

  • Use things she loves to easily reinforce good behavior: Before your feed your dog a meal or take her outside, you could ask for your dog to "wait" or sit or down. And before letting your dog out of a door or have the leash on (if these are things your dog likes), ask her to sit or wait, etc. 

  • While making dinner: For folks that cook, there can be a few minutes here and there that you can use for getting some repetitions in with your dog's homework exercises or even creating some food puzzles for later. 

  • TV time: In the evening while relaxing, grab some treats and find some behaviors you would like to reward like chewing on her own bone, lying down calmly or allowing you to handle her without squirming (put a hand on your dog and reward with a click or saying "yes" and feeing a treat, then try other body parts). 

  • Using your walk: When going for a walk on the leash, the entire time can be considered training. You can reward for eye contact, reward when your dog stays with you even when you walk erratically. You can say your dog's name and reward her for looking and ask for some sits and do "find its" (throw a treat and have your dog find it on the ground). You could also bring a longer leash and do some "come" practice during your walk if your dog is ready for that.

  • Scheduling special set-ups or outings: As your training gets more advanced or you are working on a specific problem or socializing your puppy, you will likely need to arrange special visitors or outings like having a stranger come so you can work on having your dog not jump up, etc. This is the most challenging, but so important to your progress. It helps to make some time at the beginning of the week to organize these and put them in your calendar so that the week doesn't fly by on you! 

  • Some more tricks: Use something else in your schedule to remind you to do your dog training practice - perhaps you can remember to train before your dog's mealtimes or before you go to work. Print your training exercises and put it in a place you will see it. Use a dog training app to help you remember to do your practices. 

As a pro trainer, I can tell you that the clients that do their homework see amazing results that they are thrilled with. Even 5 minutes a day will really make a difference and help make the most out of your sessions with your trainer.

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