This summer, I have started to train my dogs every morning from 9 -10 am. WHY would I do this? Simply, I never seem to get around to doing AS MUCH training as if I schedule time to do that.
It is not necessary to train your dog everyday. But, even if you are just doing five minutes, on just one behaviour, you are spending serious quality time with your dog. Sure you can bond with your dog by snuggling or going for a walk, but truly nothing builds that bond like training. It keeps your dog on his “pawtips” wondering what your going to do next, and it keeps his brain cells healthy.
There are a few things to remember when you make the decision to do a daily training session.
1. Have an idea what your are going to train beforehand. This way you can not worry when it comes time to actually doing the session. You can just go and start training.
2. Don’t necessarily stick to the training plan! Sometimes you may think you want to train one behaviour but your dog has other ideas, or you don’t feel like doing that particular training that day. That’s OK. Do something else. But at least you HAD a plan so you didn’t spend too much time thinking about it.
3. Keep your training rewards and clicker in a convenient place. When you are ready to do a training session, you don’t want to have to fumble around looking for stuff. This is the best way to lower your motivation.
Have everything ready the day before and keep it there.
4. Train an activity you both enjoy. If you hate basic training, then work on another sport that you do like. You will find that behaviours cross over between activities. For example, if you want your dog to learn a better “wait”, you can train in agility, and teach the wait coming off the obstacles. This will be useful at home and will transfer easily.
So consider doing a short training session everyday to keep you and your dog mentally, and physically active. You will both benefit.