#AtoZ Challenge: B is for Bursts and Breaks

#AtoZ Challenge: B is for Bursts and Breaks

Committing to longer training sessions is difficult.

Unless it's the weekend or I'm on a break from school, my training sessions are usually five to ten minutes or less.

Even during obedience classes I've attended, the activities are structured so I'm not spending more than five to ten minutes on any one skill with my dog.

Training in bursts works.

Short training sessions that you repeat daily will net results. Even if you practice a skill just once or twice a day for one to two minutes, you're getting the practice in. Every day!

Spread training out throughout the day. Make these bursts part of your routine. Try to find opportunities for learning that naturally fit into your life. If you're a morning person, budget an extra two to three minutes around your dog's bathroom time. That might be a good time to work on engagement with your dog, the look cue, or sitting politely while you bag up any deposits.

Train during unanticipated moments of calm. Maybe you're waiting for someone to arrive. Take a minute or two and practice a skill. The time will pass quicker and your dog learns that training may happen anytime.

Take frequent breaks!

Frequently, I'll train while I'm on a walk with my dogs. Sometimes I'm just interspersing practice with sit, down, look, or other basic commands while we're out. These expectations are quick and easily rewarded, and the dogs look forward to our walks for the sniffs, the pets, the sometimes treats, and the engagement we all share.

Other times, I bring a 33-foot training lead with me on walks. With a longer lead, we can practice stay and recall much more authentically. Even if I want to train for a longer time, I'll consistently let the dogs take breaks, sniff around, and investigate their surroundings. Keep life interesting for your dogs and you!

Bernie McSquare bursts into his recall during a practice training session at La Encantada Shopping Mall.
Bernie McSquare enjoys relaxing on the couch with his favorite plush toy Marvin Moose.
#AtoZChallenge - B  is for Breaks and Bursts - Practical Dog Training Tips for Busy People on McSquare Doodles

What moments of calm occur in your life
where you could work in a minute or two of training?
Please share in the comments.