Welcome to my journey! This blog is about my adventures in dog training, pet therapy work, rescue work and life with my menagerie of animals. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

How often do you train your dog?

This is not a judgmental question, believe me. I have always been the type of training student that worked really hard in class but rarely found time outside of class to work with my dog. Now that I have three dogs, two young children and teaching obligations, time is even more scarce!

I finally started taking my own advice and now I train my dogs all day long! I know that sounds crazy but really it works; here's how:

Waking up: They must be calm in their crate before I open the door to let them out.

Leaving the bedroom to go downstairs: They must back up from the door and let me get it open before heading through it

Going out into the yard: Again, back up from the door and go out calmly

Coming inside from the yard: They need to stand or sit calmly, after letting me know they need to come back inside (usually with a paw scratch or little bark)

Breakfast: They need to wait calmly, not jump on me or the cabinets (Jojen is working on this) while I mix up their breakfast THEN they need to sit and wait until I release them to eat (the time varies every meal and sometimes there is no wait at all)

Throughout the day: 

            1)If I am in the kitchen making lunch, they need to wait outside the kitchen calmly and not be underfoot. 

            2)Randomly throughout the day I call them to me and reward them with whatever food I may have available or some good old fashioned lovin'. 

            3)When they bark at something outside, we work on quiet.

            4)When the girls come home from school, and when my husband comes home from work, we work on calm greetings (really hard for Sadie!)

            5)When we sit down to eat dinner they need to be calm/quiet on the other side of the gate or lie calmly on their bed in the living area NO BEGGING! =)

            6)The door behavior is repeated throughout the day and into the night up until their last outing for the night.

Bedtime: They get in their crates calmly and quietly and go to sleep!

If we manage to eek out some extra time for walks, other outings or formal training session then that's great, but to me, working on their behaviors in the home is most important as that is where we spend most of our time and I want it to be enjoyable for all involved!

So if you feel like you just don't have the time to train your dog, think again, every interaction you have with your dog is a potential learning opportunity!

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