Train Your Dog in No Time

When acquiring a dog from a dog shelter or rescue organization, a lot of thought has gone into the adoption process such as:  “Is the family at home enough for a dog?”; “What breed of dog would be best?”; “What age of dog?”;  “Are the children mature enough to interact with a dog?”; “Will the new dog get along well with other household pets and vice versa?”; and “What kind of wholesome dog food should be provided?, etc.”
However, new owners often times forget that their dog will need to learn good household manners.  They assumed their dog would naturally behave until it becomes apparent at about five to six months of age that that is not necessarily the case.  Hence, the scramble to find a dog class or dog trainer to help them break their dog of bad habits and learn new manners.  If this is you, no problem that is what professional dog trainers are there to help you do.  If you’re lucky though, you preplanned the need for professional instruction and contacted a trainer before or soon after you obtained your new family member.  Much like a child, it is far easier to train a puppy the “right way, the first time” rather than allowing the puppy to practice misbehaving.
A frequently asked question of dog trainers is, “how often should I train my dog?”  The answer is:  training is occurring all the time.  Your dog learns during formal periods of training as well as during down times throughout the day.  Learning, either “good or bad” is non ending.  Dogs have short attention spans, even shorter than children.  So they learn best by short and frequent training sessions.  Short sessions keep the learning process fun for both you and your dog.
In the beginning (first four weeks), it is recommended that owners set up training appointments with their dogs for approximately 15 minutes, 2-3 times per day, 4-5 days per week.  Scheduled appointments between you and your dog are necessary because “life happens.”  Much like the plan to go to your local gym to work out, you are much more likely to make it there if you have it scheduled into your day.
After your dog has learned basic obedience skills, then one can replace the scheduled appointments with committing to practicing those skills throughout the day.  It’s easy to make training a part of your daily activities:
  1. While brushing your teeth, place your dog on a down stay.
  2. While having dinner, practice having your dog go to his mat for a place command.
  3. Invite friends over for a pizza party and practice your dog’s front door greetings.
  4. While gardening or washing the car, practice your dog’s down stay.
  5. While taking the kids to the park, practice your dog’s come command.
  6. While washing clothes at the laundry mat, take your dog with you and practice obedience skills during the was/dry periods.
These are just some ideas to inspire you to train your dog in new places and times that make training simple to do.  For example, just the other day, Bella, a German Shepherd Dog doing a board and train program, accompanied me to the laundry mat called the Laundry Stop in Westland, Michigan.  During the wash and dry times, Bella had fun practicing her obedience skills outside in the nearby grass lawn.  It also removed the boredom I experience waiting for clothes to wash and dry.  An additional plus was that she met some very friendly strangers which greatly added to her training and socialization process.  She practiced greeting strangers in the real world by being calm and sitting for attention.
For owners who had the fore thought of training their dog from the beginning but then found it difficult to find the time to follow through; a board and train program can be the perfect solution.  Your dog learns good manners and obedience skills in a home environment away from home.  Upon conclusion of the program, you learn how to continue your dog’s new learned skills.  And, because time is a valued commodity, you are able to skip the formal scheduled training sessions.  By following the above dog training tips, you can train your dog in no time.

About Michael Burkey

Michael Burkey is a professional dog trainer, behaviorist and owner of MichiganDogTrainer.com, a highly successful dog training company whose aim is to promote peaceful relationships between pets and families. Additionally, he is an expert trial witness, certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator for the American Kennel Club (AKC), former Police K9 Handler, Search and Rescue (SAR) K9 Training Director and SAR K9 Handler, obedience and rally competitor and social worker. Dog training is a complex science and art requiring knowledge of behavioral science and learning. You can rely on Michael's experience, teaching methods, and integrity. He can be contacted at info@MichiganDogTrainer.com or 734-634-4152.
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