Believe me, I understand the problem. You're full of good intentions and actually quite enjoy training your dog - but how do you fit it into your busy lifestyle? 8-O
Don't panic. It can be done without too much difficulty, it just takes a little thinking about and planning ahead.
Here's my top tips for finding training time with your special canine friend:
1. Having Treats Prepared
Having small pots of treats around the house means that you can do little bits of dog training as you go. For example, by the kettle when you're making a cup of tea. The time it takes for the water to boil is an ideal window of time to refresh your dog's training skills.
2. Using Your Dog's Dinner
You have time set aside to feed your dog anyway, so why not make it into a training event? Your dog will work harder when they're hungry to earn their meal, and its a gentle reminder to them that not everything in life comes for free!
3. Family Mealtimes
Yes it's possible to be training your dog whilst you're having your tea :-) Family mealtimes are a great opportunity to remind dogs about the importance of their 'Bed' cue. Have a pot of treats on the table and throughout the meal be sure to throw the odd treat to your patient and well-behaved dog lying quietly on their bed.
4. TV AD Breaks
When you're all settled down in front of the television after a busy day, it can be difficult to rouse yourself to do some training. But with a few stashes of training treats about, you can do some simple training from the comfort of your arm chair during the ad breaks of your favourite TV soap. Ask for simple behaviours and instead of handing the treat to your dog, throw it for them to catch or chase along the floor.
5. Getting Out Of The Car
Not only is permission to exit your car a good exercise in self-control, it's also a valuable safety net to protect your dog from oncoming traffic. Ask your dog to wait before opening your boot/ crate door - if they try to burst out, simply close the door until they remain where they are. Have a reward handy for good behaviour :-)
6. Off Lead Exercise
Most dogs LOVE to run off their leads, but how many of them have to do anything before the lead comes off? Adding in a simple 'Sit' or 'Down' cue (or perhaps a couple of different cues) before your dog has permission to go play, will remind them that they should be listening to your even when they're excited and instant recalls are non-negotiable cues.
7. Book A Weekly Training Class
I find what gets scheduled, gets done. So joining a training class and having that in my diary means that I'm committing to doing at least a weekly session of training with my dog. It also gives me specific exercises to practice so I don't end up looking blankly at my dog when I do find time during the week, I have some homework to give me ideas of what I should be doing.