Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tons o' Time

(I haven't been blogging lately because I was lost in a find-your-password circle, but finally we're back!)

Everyone is so busy; how do we fit in dog training? Lately I've been reminding myself to follow more often my own advice offered to clients: just a little here and there can make a world of difference.

Asking for little bits of training throughout the day can actually solve a lot of problems or just improve your dog's skills. "Sit" for putting on the leash, "down" and "wait" before going out the door before a  walk, spin "left" before the food bowl goes down . . . Then there are the magical periods of commercials! I adore the fabulous 30-second button on my remote so I can skip commercials, but better to work with your dog for the few minutes of commercials during your show. Dogs like short training periods anyhow.

Dori is getting ready to compete in obedience trials, and Tanner is just starting agility competition. We definitely need to do some homework. So the weave poles stay up now in my office, and whenever Tanner comes to see me, we run through the poles two or three times. I'm making the time to take Dori for some private work in the lobby of our building and in the park two blocks away: different locations are great for "proofing" stays. I have even written Dori into my Tuesday night calendar so we are sure to have some quality time. Tanner meets friends weekly for agility practice at a great facility--then we go to lunch!

Finding a fun activity you love to do with your dog sure gives you time to look forward to. Taking a group class guarantees socialization and bonding time with your pooch. Even hiking with your dog can provide easy time for training, too: practicing quiet sits while a dog or bicycler goes by fits right into a training plan.

You can't spend too much time with your dog, right? The effort you put in is always rewarded--though sometimes not so obviously or immediately. Some issues definitely take more time than a commercial break. (And need the guidance of a professional trainer.) But breaking training into smaller bits will bring you to the results you want. Hang in there!