Training Tip for the Time-Deprived

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

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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!

*This post contains affiliate links.

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Week 7 Photos

Hi there! Alright, now for the traditional “Can you believe the puppies are already….” Here goes: Can you believe the puppies are already seven weeks old! My! You’d think I’d be able to come up with a better introduction than that! Hmmm…. How about, can you believe that you’ll get to bring your puppy home with you in just a week!!!!!!!! Wow! Now that caught your attention!

Before this week’s photos, however, I must give you an update on the puppies’ schedule. First, we are not crating the puppies at night anymore–it is just too hot for all 5 of them to be packed in the enclosed crate. Don’t worry–initial potty training has continued despite this setback. We are putting the puppies in a much roomier, plastic doghouse half (the bottom half–the top is removed) down in our cool basement. They have more room to spread out in there and to breath. We keep them on their potty schedule, so they are still learning to keep their blanket clean.

The change in schedule comes from the fact that the pups are now able to handle 5 hours between potty breaks, and I’m so happy, as this works into my schedule just perfectly!

The Schedule:
4:00 – Morning potty break, back inside
6-7:00 – Breakfast (no potty break yet)
9:00 – Potty break and grass dry–outside for the day
2:00 – Potty break & playtime
7:00 – Potty break & supper
9:00 – Sundown, last quick potty break, and inside for the night.
If needed: 12-1:00 am Potty break (however, last night, the puppies made it from 9:00 all the way to 4:00 just fine!)

Now, for our feature presentation: “Five Puppies, One Kong.”

Run, Rio, run!
Run, Rio, run!
I love this picture! Rio is "bound" and determined to get the toy from Jordan.
I love this picture! Rio is “bound” and determined to get the toy from Jordan.
Rio & Jordan "fighting."
Rio & Jordan “fighting.”
Next, Danny "hops" on the scene.
Next, Danny “hops” on the scene.
Rio & Danny, best of buddies despite the rough-n-tough play.
Rio & Danny, best of buddies despite the rough-n-tough play.
'Kenzie loves the little, blue kong!
‘Kenzie loves the little, blue kong!
Itty, bitty Jordan!
Itty, bitty Jordan!
All the puppies love the new, blue, squeaky kong we bought them!
All the puppies love the new, blue, squeaky kong we bought them!
Rio getting sleepy.
Rio getting sleepy.