Your dog needs regular training sessions with you to keep their mind sharp and to continuously strengthen your bond. Whether they’re a young pup learning the fundamentals or an older dog who already knows the basics, continuous education is a must. But what if you’re too busy to train your dog?
As it turns out, you don’t need to devote hours a day to training your dog. You do not even need to keep a strict schedule. As long as your dog is getting plenty of opportunities to learn on a regular basis, you can work towards your training goals.
Did You Know: Dogs Learn Better WITHOUT Daily Lessons?
In 2011, researchers conducted a study to see if dogs learn better with more frequent training sessions. The results were surprising.
Forty-four Beagles were separated into four training groups. Half of the groups were trained 1-2 times per week, and the other half were trained daily. Some would have one training session per day, while the others had three training sessions in a row whenever they were trained.
Dogs that trained just 1-2 times per week with one short training session per day picked up skills quicker than dogs that trained daily and dogs that were given three sessions in a row.
If you are able to train your dog daily though, it won’t be to their detriment. Dogs in all groups were found to have similar retention. Aim to work on skills daily through your everyday life, for example, ask your dog to sit and wait before meals and before you let them outside. Then, try for at least one training session per week in which you teach a new skill or review an already learned one.
How To Fit Training Into Your Schedule
You most likely can find ten to fifteen minutes per week to train your dog, but what if it slips your mind? Take into consideration that there are plenty of tasks that you do regularly without having to remember to do them. You do not need to remind yourself to brush your teeth before going to bed. You do not need to remind yourself to make breakfast in the morning. Tying a training session to a part of your existing routine can make it easier for you to remember to get them done.
Maybe you can have a short training session with your dog after dinner on some nights. Or, you might watch a TV show when it premieres each week. You can then train your dog during long, unskippable commercial breaks.
Real World Training For When You’re Too Busy To Train Your Dog
When you take your dog for a walk, try bringing treats along. Just by having treats with you, you’ll start to find opportunities for your dog to earn them. You’ll notice more and more good behaviours, like when they decided to listen to you instead of eating an old chicken wing, or when they decide not to chase a cat.
There are many ways to incorporate training into your daily life. You can use part of your dog’s meals as treats and have a short training session before mealtime. You can also have your dog help you with simple tasks, like taking socks out of the dryer, finding your keys, or cleaning up their toys after they play. Depending on your dog’s skillset, they can be a huge help around the house.
Dog Training That Fits Your Schedule
No time to attend puppy classes? Can’t fit private dog training into your hectic schedule? You can set up one-on-one dog training from home, no matter where you are, with virtual dog training services from Healthy Houndz. We only use science-backed, humane techniques that you can use to communicate with your dog in a way they understand so you’ll finally see the results you’ve been hoping to achieve.