Home Training Sessions

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Home Training Sessions
Dog owners are encouraged to have some practice sessions with their dogs at home during the week. This can be confusing if you’re not exactly sure how to conduct a dog training session at home. Understanding what makes a proper training session is an essential part of training your dog. Training sessions will differ from person to person and from dog to dog depending on the individual needs.
The following tips should help you with your dog training sessions.
What is a Training Session?
A training session is a short period of time you set aside each day or two to work on specific dog training commands, cues, actions, or behaviours. Dog training sessions don’t have to be the only time to train. Use the opportunities that happen every day to reinforce your dog’s training.
When to Use Training Sessions
You can use training sessions throughout your dog’s life, but they should definitely be used when you are starting obedience training. You can use dog training sessions to introduce and reinforce basic commands and other behaviours.
Keep Dog Training Sessions Short
Dog training sessions should last no more than 15 minutes. Young puppies or dogs who are easily distracted may need even shorter sessions. If you run your dog training session too long, dogs get distracted and bored, and there’s a good chance they’ll start making mistakes. If my dog does what I planned to do perfectly, my sessions often end after 3 minutes and we start playing.
Stick to One Thing
Before going out to train, spend some time deciding on exactly what it is that you want to improve. It may be something that was pointed out at the club meeting. It can be one aspect or more than one. When you set aside time for a training section, plan on working on just one command. The quick, intense lessons will help your dog learn, and sticking with just one command or behaviour will help the dog stay focused. You can train more than one command in a day but try to stick to just one command for each session. An exception might be if the session is not going well and you want to get your dog to do something he knows to end things on a positive note.
In this case, it makes sense to switch to a simple action your dog already knows.
Start with Little Distraction
When you begin training a new command, dog training sessions should take place in quiet areas with little distraction. Too much activity or noise when you are introducing a command can make it harder to train a dog.
Start somewhere quiet like your living room and work your way up to dog training sessions at the dog park. As your dog gets better, you can start adding in more major distractions, like other people or dogs.
End on a Positive Note
All dog training sessions should end on a positive note. This is one reason you don’t want to keep them going for too long. A good stopping place is when a dog is rewarded for doing a behaviour you like. By keeping training sessions short and rewarding, your dog will have fun and learn to love training. Again, if your dog can’t seem to perform the desired behaviour, switch to something easier for the last bit of the session. This will help you end the session with something positive. After the training session, ask yourself, “How did it go?” and, “What could be better?” or “What must I ask the instructor at the club?”
Remember:

First time a mistake is made by the dog = an accident.
Second time the same mistake is made = your fault.
Third time the same mistake is made = habit.

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