Louise Harding

Blog«What Makes a Successful Training Session?
What Makes a Successful Training Session?
Louise Harding
22 July 2020
7 December 2023
2.65 minutes

Finding time in our busy lives can be quite challenging. So how can you find time to train your dog? It’s a common misconception that to train your dog successfully you need to put in regular hour-long sessions.  The good news is... this absolutely isn’t necessary! In fact,  short 2-3 minute sessions which end with your dog successfully completing the behaviour you are training are effective. It’s a triple win - you have the time, your dog remains focused and it’s sustainable. Could you find 2 or 3 minutes to train your dog as you go about your day to day activities?  

Perhaps your dog is already competent in the six-pack of core behaviours (sit, stay, down, come, quiet and loose-lead walking), then it’s time to challenge yourselves by learning a new trick or complex behaviour.  It's great fun and a good problem-solving activity for you and your dog.

Here’s an example:  Your dog has a really reliable sit-stay.  Can he remain sitting while you hop on one leg next to him or bend down and tie a shoelace or while you pick something up off the floor and put it on the bench?

Here are my 5 top tips for successful training sessions.

  1. Keep it short and sweet, grab a handful of treats, perform a few repetitions of the behaviour of your choice and end with a game.
  2. Train one behaviour at a time before you start joining different behaviours together in a chain or sequence.
  3. If you’re teaching a brand-new behaviour, start in a distraction-free environment, break it down into simple steps.
  4. End the session when your dog has been successful.
  5. Training should be fun for you and your dog.

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NOSE to TAILA Holistic Guide to Training Your Dream DogLouise Harding Author, Speaker and Master Dog Trainer


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