For the past few weeks, I've found myself trapped in the "not enough time to train my dog" cycle. Life is busy. Running a business, being a mom, training in new staff, getting kids to all their lessons, home renovations, and expecting a new little one... some days we just can't do it all!
I don't say all this to put my life in the spotlight, but instead to point out that even we as trainers have that struggle at times! The dog's much-needed training gets put to the back burner. I figured this was a good opportunity to just to be real, so here's some tips of how to find time to train your dog despite the busyness of life. Who isn't short on time, right?
Top Five Tips to Keeping your Dog Active, Engaged, and Trained in a Busy Season:
Food games: providing interactive food games where they have to roll, tip, sniff, paw, etc. to get their food is an easy, hassle-free way to meet your dog's need to think and work.
Five minutes: The days you feel like there is no time to train, remind yourself that there is always five minutes. Throw a few skill repetitions in between meetings or over a lunch break. Five minutes is plenty to maintain and even advance behavior.
Incorporate: What's something you are already doing today that your dog can participate in? Hello, nice weather! Go for a hike to get some physical exercise, and let your dog tag along to work on loose leash walking or off leash hiking skills. Running to the local, dog-friendly pet store? Bring your dog with!
Providing good chews: just ensuring dog has something yummy to keep him entertained for a while can really help!
Food search: Put your dog away for a minute and hide a handful of kibble around the house. Tell your pup to "go find it!" and let him use his sense of smell to provide some mental stimulation.
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About The Author: Megan is the owner and lead trainer of Havana Dog Training. She has been training canines for over 9 years and specializes in behavior modification, foundational work, and working with families and young children.