Training your Dog. How long training sessions should be?

There is always a lot of conversation in society about dog training and the different methods. I strongly believe and follow force free, positive reinforcement. This is how I treat my animals and my clients. I wanted to discuss training your dog at home and how long the training sessions should be. Sometimes when clients are doing their homework they may get frustrated if the dog doesn’t pick up the command immediately. When they get frustrated, they quit and well, the dog isn’t trained and the owner is frustrated from the behavior problems.

Brief training session with my dog Jackson

Here are a couple quick tips on how to maximize the success of training with your dog. You can check out the video I did with my dog Jackson as well.

  • Dog training sessions should not last more than 30 minutes per session. Ideally sessions should be 15 to 20 minutes at 3 times a day. You should also include breaks within those 15 to 20 minutes. Think of it as work breaks for you. Meaning when you are at work you get a 15 minute break several times a day, this is what the approach should be.
  • In the sessions, do trials of 5 repetitions. With this, I mean work on the cue 5 times before moving on. How they do in this trial will tell you whether they are ready to move on to the next level, if they need to take a break or if this level is too hard. Remember you want your dog to succeed AND enjoy the training. The video with Jackson is an example of a trial. I did 5 repetitions of Touch before moving on.

I hope you found some of these tips helpful when you are doing your dog training homework. Please feel free to contact me with questions!