Puppy Pre-school is just the beginning of your dog training journey ! Most dog owners will take their puppy to puppy pre-school for 4 weeks and think their dog is fully trained. But just like children who don’t stop their education at kindergarten, dogs should also keep learning. Remember that dog’s keep learning until the day they die. There is no such thing as ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. How long should you train your dog for? The problem I find is the expectation of owners as to how long dog training should actually be. One of my clients told me they didn’t have 2 hours a day to train their dog. Holy cow, who does? I can’t even imagine training a dog for 2 hours. I am sure they would be bored senseless and so would I. I don’t recommend the ‘drill training’, which use to happen (and still does unfortunately) at dog training classes /clubs. You get there and you spend the next hour or two walking your dog up and down. Sit, down, heel, stand, stay. Over and over again. Your dog becomes a robot and so do you. What is Real Life Dog Training? I recommend that owners do ‘life’ training. So what is ‘life’ training? It is about training your dog in everyday situations that you will encounter in everyday life. Real life dog training. So let’s think about this? You might get up and decide first thing in the morning to take your dog for a walk. You get your dog to stand before you put the lead on, he/she waits at the door until you open it and you let them through. Right there you have just trained your dog to do three behaviours in probably 1 -2 minutes. You have trained your dog to ‘stand’ so you can put the lead on, ‘wait’ until you open the door and ‘release’ or ‘move forward’ on cue.
So real life dog training can be incorporated in your everyday life without any extra effort. How to incorporate 'Real Life Dog Training' into your day? Here are just a few more ideas about real life dog training, you can incorporate into your day:
Call ‘come’ when you are giving your dog his/her breakfast/lunch/dinner/treats. I mean you have to feed your dog everyday, so why not get a lightening fast recall whilst you're at it.
Teach ‘settle’ or ‘relax’ by offering some pieces of food to your dog when he/she is lying down with you watching TV.
Have your dog sit at the corner of the street before you cross the road.
There are many more real life behaviours you can train your dog to do, with no additional time needed out of your day? What real life dog training can you incorporate into your everyday life? Remember, if you need help with any aspect of training your dog, we would be delighted to help! Dogaholics Dog Training and Behaviour Services (Dogaholics is a dog training and behaviour service located in the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area of NSW.)