Whenever I mention training to people who are not quite as dog-enthused or my level of dog crazy, I often get the response, “How do you find time to train?” Or when I ask clients at work how training their new puppy is going, they often reply, “It’s going, but it’d be better if I had more time to do it.” Well, yeah, dogs require a lot of work and time, but some of the best dogs I know belong to people who work 50+ hour weeks, so clearly, they are finding time to train.
I once read something written by a trainer (go figure, I can’t remember where or who), but he said that he often told his clients to start “microwave training” their dog. In other words, if they had time to cook something in the microwave, they had time to train their dog.
I’ve adapted that and like to call what Buster and I do “dinnertime training.” I don’t make elaborate dinners that require hours of work. I usually get home around 8:30PM, so I want my dinners to be fast and require as little work as possible. But, in that 30 minutes or so it still takes me to get dinner together, I can train Buster.
I actually started our trick training as a dinnertime training routine. Buster and I hadn’t done any serious training in a couple of months, so I figured I’d break out the clicker and try to teach him a new trick while pasta was boiling. And it went amazingly. The main time we work on his Relaxation Protocol is while I’m cooking dinner as well. His mat sits right on the other side of the kitchen wall, so he can see into the kitchen and see me. He’s learned to stay on his mat and stay calm and relaxed, even when I drop food or make loud scary noises with pots and pans, and that has seriously helped his reactivity.
Buster learned “paws up,” “twist,” and touch,” all in the same week, and we worked on each one for only about 10 minutes or so.
It makes me sad when people think they don’t have time to train their dogs, because I’m sure if you used your time wisely, you’d realize you do have the time. While that pasta is boiling, teach your dog a new trick. While you’re waiting for the oven to go off, perfect that trick, start a new one, or build on that trick. You’re already up and moving around, so you might as well use that time effectively.
So, in honor of this Positive Reinforcement Pet Training Week, I challenge you to teach your dog a new trick this week in 10 minutes. What are you going to teach?
As an added bonus this week, make sure you head over to either Cascadian Nomads, Rubicon Days, or Tenacious Little Terrier‘s page where you can enter the giveaway to win a $75 value Positive Reinforcement Spring Training Prize Pack for Dogs! It has everything you need to get started with training, and remember, all you really need is 10 minutes!
This is the blog hop for the Positive Reinforcement Pet Training Week hosted by Cascadian Nomads, Rubicon Days & Tenacious Little Terrier. This blog hop and the giveaway are open all week long, until April 12th. Positive Reinforcement Pet Training Week begins on the first Monday of each month. The next blog hop will run May 4th-10th. The May theme is “reviews” where you can share a review of a positive reinforcement training book, DVD, treat, tool, speaker, class, etc. As always, any positive reinforcement pet training posts, comments or social media shares are welcome.
Join Positive Reinforcement Pet Training Week beginning on the first Monday of each month.