Every April, some bloggers choose to participate in the #AtoZChallenge, which involves publishing daily posts over 26 days except Sundays. Each post focuses on a different letter of the alphabet. For 2018, I'm choosing to unify my posts around the theme: Practical Dog Training Tips for Busy People.
Since I'm not a dog trainer, I won't be covering the techniques for teaching specific cues or commands. Instead, I'll share how I find time to practice with my dogs every day. Now some days my practice may amount to just a few minutes here and there. Other days may involve longer training sessions.
When we first adopted Bernie in June 2016, I had no idea what I was doing with dog obedience training. After graduating from puppy obedience class, I had a much better idea of how I should teach Bernie and how to challenge him with the three Ds (distance, duration, and distractions).
I still had to figure out how to fit training into my daily schedule, though. For several months, I kept trying to schedule specific training sessions. My mental model was, "I am going to work with Bernie on cues X, Y, and Z today for fifteen minutes."
Even when I scheduled calendar reminders, I still found myself skipping his training. By the time I got home from work, ran errands, took Bernie for a walk, and finished whatever tasks needed to be done around the house, I was exhausted. I wanted to collapse in bed with a good book, not try to feign excitement at training Bernie at 10pm.
When I finally realized that structured training sessions would probably happen on the weekends only, I started figuring out how I could work training expectations into my daily and weekly routines with Bernie. Those practical tips will be what I share throughout the month of April.
The #AtoZChallenge begins on Sunday, April 1. For real! I hope you join me as I blog my way through the alphabet sharing my tips for finding time to train your best friend!