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The Real Work of Training: Practice Between Sessions

As a trainer I am here to teach you and your dog how to perform new cues and play new training games. During our sessions I give you feedback about your form and timing when cueing and reinforcing your dog, and I make suggestions for management and enrichment. But the real work of training happens in between your sessions, when you and your dog practice what you’ve learned. For a lot of people finding time to practice can be challenging. Knowing if you are moving too slowly or quickly can also be difficult to determine. So here are a few tips to help you:

  • Work training practice into your normal routine, doing a few minutes at a time a few times a day and ending each session on a positive note.

  • Good times to add training: your dog’s mealtimes; before, during, and / or after walks; during play sessions inside or outside; during break times if you work from home; after your evening meal (I always do a few minutes of training with my dog before we all settle in on the couch to watch a little tv)

  • When you work on a new skill or game, limit the distractions in the training environment. Work in your house until your dog understands the cue / game and then try practicing in the yard or some other low distraction area outside your home. Eventually you’ll be able to practice in more distracting environments like a park or while on a walk in a busy neighborhood.

  • Always feel free to check in with your trainer if you have any questions!

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