Every now and then I am stunned to hear someone say that they don't have time to train their new puppy or dog. In the words of renowned animal behaviorist and dog trainer, Ken Ramirez, "Animals deserve the best care we can possibly provide. Training should not be considered a luxury that is only provided if there is time; it is an essential part of good animal care. . ."
"That's fine," you say, "but how am I supposed to fit training into a schedule that's jam-packed with work, kids, and other commitments?" Most reputable dog-training centers understand how difficult scheduling can be for people and offer basic classes on various days and at various times to accommodate clients. Some centers even offer on-going classes rather than a traditional semester, where students can drop in as they are able to. And there is always the option of hiring a professional trainer to come to your home at a time that suits your schedule. Most centers and private trainers offer hourly sessions once a week.
With one hundred sixty eight hours in a week,
dedicating just one of those hours to your cherished companion IS do-able.
"Ok, so I found this great training place and I'll be taking my dog to class once a week. But they told me that I have to practice everything at home in order to see progress. I don't have any more hours in the day!!" Follow-through certainly is critically important to training. It's also much easier than you may think and you won't have to block out additional hours. Simply incorporate training into your normal daily routine.
Your dog eats meals twice a day? Practice "sit" or "down" before you put the food bowl down.
You let your dog out of the crate or into the yard? Practice "wait" before opening the door.
You take your dog for a walk after work? Practice "loose-leash walking" on your way back home, after your dog has had a chance to explore.
You watch TV after dinner? Have a bowl of treats handy and practice a "relaxed down-stay" during the program. Give your dog a play-break during the commercials.
You get the idea. Quick, informal training spurts will give your dog multiple opportunities to learn important life-skills and you'll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly better habits are formed. You may also find yourself enjoying your dog more than ever before. Maybe so much that you'll want to spend more time with him, just having fun.