How long does it take to train a dog?
This is a question I would love to have a set answer to. I was asked recently if I could ‘cure’ a dog of the problems he has picked up over 8 years of his life. He needed a lot of help, but we cannot wipe his memory clean of all those moments he was allowed to do things the human family didn’t like.
If only we could spare a few minutes each day. Two sessions, five minutes each, or three sessions of just a couple of minutes each, every day, can be spent training your dog. Asking your dog to sit for a couple of seconds, paying him with a piece of food, then repeating it again a few times, is plenty of training in a single session and will take only a short time.
If you repeat this, ten minutes in total per day, you have completed over an hour of training in only a week (70 minutes to be exact). Multiply this over a year and we have over sixty hours spent teaching your dog all the good manners you want.
You might say you do not have time. However, how many times do you say ‘no’ to your dog? Do you push him off the sofa or have a miserable walk with him dragging you about? I am sure you spend a lot longer on this.
The answer is easy. Have a plan of working with your canine best friend a little each day. If you need guidance, my book ’21 Days to the Perfect Dog’ will help you as if follows a daily plan.
Whether you have a new pup or an older pooch, start by counting out ten small but tasty treats, and ask for a sit for each one. Those are your dog’s wages. Tomorrow, ask him to sit for a little longer. Once he has this established and is confident, choose to ask him to lie down for the same ten treats each day. Then, do the same thing in the garden. Start in the back garden if this is quieter, then the front. Next, practice it on your walk.
After this, give him a treat for walking at heel. The same ten repetitions will help. Before long you have a nice attentive dog who is earning wages. Not a miserable, fed up dog who cannot understand what you want and hears the word ‘no’ (which basically means, nothing much or that you are cross and fed up).
From now on, the word ‘no’ means ‘I am an impatient, not very good trainer’. Maybe we can work for ten minutes a day on improving your skill, too!