We all seem to be stretched thin most days. Shuffling kids from activity to activity, working late hours, trying to keep the house in some semblance of order, and running errands, there just isn’t time for much else, including training the dog. As you have probably discovered though, an untrained dog can add to the never ending list of tasks. Without proper guidance, they can chew and dig their way into utter chaos leaving us with an even longer list of items on our to-do list.
So how can we train our dogs without adding to our already very long day?
Incorporate training into everyday things you do with your dog
There are many things you do every day with and/or for your dog:
- Let out in the yard
- Put on/take off the leash
- Get in/out of the car
Your list may be a bit different and even much longer, but you get the idea. These are all opportunities to do just a brief bit of training. For example, ask your dog to:
- sit or down before giving him his food
- sit/stay for 10 seconds before opening the door to let her out in the yard
- sit in order to greet you
- watch or touch (hand target) before throwing the ball
- wait before getting in or out of the car
Most of you walk your dogs several times per week which is an ideal time to do a little training. You can practice your loose leash walking skills, “leave it” with mild distractions, stop and sit before crossing the street, polite greetings with people you meet along the way, etc.
Another way to get a little training in throughout the day is to:
Incorporate training into your everyday tasks
- Waiting for the coffee to brew? Work on sit or down/stay.
- Brushing your teeth? Since you can’t talk and brush, it’s a great time to review your hand signals for sit, down and come.
- Watching a little TV? Do 2 minutes of training between shows.
- Getting dinner ready? What a great opportunity to work on some leave it exercises while the food is cooking.
As you can see, training doesn’t have to be a big burden or an extra item on your to-do list if you incorporate into your everyday tasks and activities with your dog.