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Ask the Trainer: Take Advantage of ‘Teachable Moments’ with Your Dog

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Teachablemoments Min

“Hey Steve, I don’t have time to train my dog, but I know I should.  What can I do?” – Stacy G.

Hi Stacy,

We hear people saying this every day, “I don’t have time for…”  You can insert anything: working out, spending time with their family, training their dog, etc.  We all have the same 24hrs in a day, so it simply comes down priorities and how we choose to spend our time.  If you really want to do anything in life, you will make the time for it.

So, if you really want to spend more time training, walking, or playing with your dog, make the time for it.  Training your dog should not be a chore.  It should be a fun experience for both you and your dog.  It should also not take a lot of time.  I tell my clients, 5-10mins of training twice a day, will make a huge difference.  

Don’t have the time?  Wake up 10 mins earlier, go to bed a few mins later, skip a Netflix show, don’t send funny face emoji texts to friends, and stop watching cat videos on YouTube.  Those simple changes will allow you to spend more time with your dog.

Take the 5 Minute Training Challenge this week with your dog.

The next thing you should start doing, is to take advantage of “teachable moments” as they arise each day with your dog.  This is an extremely overlooked concept.  Addressing teachable moments takes absolutely no extra time out of your day and they allow you to make very meaningful progress with your dog.  What is a teachable moment?  It is rewarding, correcting or teaching your dog based on what they do on a regular daily basis.  

Don’t simply ignore what your dog does throughout the day.  Instead, reward what you like, correct what you don’t, and teach them what you want them to do.

-If your dog jumps on guest who visit, don’t ignore that.  Teach them not to.

-When your dog bolts out their crate or front door when going for a walk, teach them to sit and wait.

-When your dog gets distracted by a squirrel when out on a walk, use that as an opportunity to practice “Come” when called.

-Don’t just complain about your dog stealing food off the countertops, solve that problem.

-Do you want to play Fetch with your dog, but they don’t bring the ball back.  Don’t settle for that, teach them how to play fetch.

You may only give your dog the time you have to spare, but your dog gives you all the time they have.  Starting today, please try to spend a little more time with your dog.

Putnam NY Dog Trainer Steven Reid of S.R. Dog Training.  Learn more about Steve at www.srdogtraining.com and www.Facebook.com/SRDogTraining

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