It’s crucial to relieve your dog’s excess energy through exercise and play before any training can begin. I remember the first time I trained one of my dogs. I was so excited. I had done my research— looked at videos and read articles. I was ready! I took my dog to an empty room where there were no distractions; and I began our session.
Notice I said “I” began our session.
She was somewhere else in the room – sniffing, looking, bouncing, running. You name it. She was doing everything except paying attention to me.
Has this ever happened to you? For me, it was very frustrating. I couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t listening! What all of those videos and articles didn’t say was that in order to have her attention, she needed to exercise first. Here are a couple of ways to prepare for a productive training session.
A daily walk is critical to your dog’s health and yours too. 20 to 30 minutes a day for most breeds is fine. You can always make it longer though. Walks are different from backyard play. While on a walk, your dog is taking in different smells, sounds and sights that stimulate her mentally. This is important to her mental well-being. Passing other dogs and people politely while walking also fine tunes her social skills.
Letting your dog out in the yard for her to entertain herself is not all she needs. Dogs are social creatures and need interaction with their humans. It’s important to stimulate your dog’s mind as well. Use play time outside for both physical and mental activities. This is also an excellent time for the two of you to bond and can be used to teach her skills.
Remember not to over-exercise her before training since this will make her too tired to concentrate. A combination of backyard play and walking are great together. In cooler weather, 30 minutes to 1 hour for both are enough. In warmer weather, you may want to reduce to 30-45 minutes. Pay attention to your dog’s cues and use your best judgement. If you have any questions about exercise and play with your dog or need help with dog training, contact me today.
Now you’re both ready for Control, the next element to Effective Dog Training!
*NOTE: If your dog is unresponsive to these techniques or you don’t feel comfortable implementing them, contact a trainer who is familiar with behavior modification in dogs. Do NOT attempt to do anything that will jeopardize your safety.
4 Essential Elements to Effective Dog Training
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