I’m back in the training stage again, now that Wilbur’s joined the clan!
The other day I was sitting on the lawn trying to read a book while Wilbur wiggled and squirmed his way under the book into my lap (and by no means did he sit still once he got there), Shasta started giving me kisses from the one side, and Nikki sat begging for me to pet her from the other side. I looked over at my mom and said, “Is this what it’s like to have children?” ;-P
The only problem is that I don’t have the time that I used to have now that I’m done with college (isn’t that strange that I actually had MORE time when I was in school fulltime and working part-time than I do now that I’m just working???). How in the world am I going to train this bundle of energy properly?
Well, just in case there’s anyone else out there wondering the same thing, here’s my “Training Tip for the Time-Depraved”: Make training a part of every-day life, rather than trying to schedule in an exclusive training session each day.
That means that, when I feed the dogs in the morning, I teach/practice the commands “Sit” and “Wait” with them. I put the food in their bowls, and they have to wait patiently until I say, “OK,” before they can jump in and eat.
It means that, when I take my daily walk each day, I work on the “heal” command with Shasta and do some leash training.
It means that, when I go outside to get the mail, and Wilbur wants to jump all over me with muddy paws, I take a few moments to work on some manners training–that he needs to sit before he gets petted.
It means that, when I’m out working in the garden, I practice the “Stay” command with Nikki, making sure that she stays at the garden’s edge and doesn’t come into the garden (which is off-limits).
And it means that, when I’m doing the dishes after breakfast, I bring one of the dogs into the kitchen with me for some exclusive bonding time where I just talk to him/her, maybe randomly say, “Lie Down,” to see if he/she remembers the latest command we’re working on, and give him/her lots of praise and attention.
It’s all about the little moments, all day, every day.
And for those of you who haven’t done any training before, I highly recommend Dog Training in 10 Minutes.* Not only does this book offer an easy, only-10-minutes-a-day approach to training, but it’s also written in simple, fun language and illustrated with lots of cute, colorful cartoons, making it very appealing to junior-aged children. It’s a great way to get your kids involved (or even completely handling) your dog’s training.
What ways have you found to work training into your busy schedule? Please share!
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