If I Could Turn Back Time

January is train your dog month over at Something Wagging This Way Comes, Pamela has turned this into a blog hop so we can share tricks and tips on how we’re training our dogs.

In one of my recent comments I told Pamela I was training my dogs to do nothing, an idea I got from Kirsten at Peaceful Dog. :-)


We’re making great progress.

All kidding aside, how do you find the time to train your dog(s)?  Sometimes I feel like I barely have time to sleep, never mind train my dogs. (I need a timeturner, I really do.)

Yes, it’s true I do try to keep Delilah in a class at least one day a week, and trust me it’s as much for me as it is for her, but what about training at home?

Many times it doesn’t seem like I even have five minutes to set aside for training, which is why we work on our foundation skills.  As Kristine says, “Foundation training.  It never gets old.”

Yup, even though we aren’t learning anything new, we’re reinforcing what we already know.

IMG_3861 Sits are perfect to work on while we wait for dinner.

IMG_3007 Delilah who struggles with her Downs, practices them in the bathroom in the mornings.

Noticed how relaxed Sampson is....Delilah will never do that.

Down stays are also practiced during our evening meal.

Leave It’s are reinforced when we drop something and Waits are practiced at exits and entrances.

While technically we’re not learning anything new, we are working on and reinforcing the commands we already know.

For me, Sits, Waits and Leave It’s are very important commands for your dog to know and know well.  Any one of them could save your dog’s life in an emergency.

Since Delilah is not always 100% on her recall, if I can stop her from running off by having her sit, I win and maybe save her life in the process.

How do you find the time to train your dog?  What foundation commands do you feel are necessary?

(We are working on a training skill for this challenge, more on that later this month.)
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  1. says

    You’re doing some good training there. I like the idea of down stays during meals. I’ve gotten lazy about that, and end up with two dogs at my feet, staring at me the whole time.

  2. says

    We do a lot of reinforcing too. Even in winter, my hubby will take the dogs in the basement and move them or practice stays or short handling. 5-10 minutes per day is all that is needed. Of course once the weather improves, they will get more field training. We schedule it, just like anything else.

    I like the last picture with Sampson in his side and Delilah ready to spring…lol.

  3. says

    Great ideas that can be done every day and I think if you reinforce the simple commands often , maybe the bigger ones become easier too? Mine have to sit and wait outside the kitchen while I prepare their dinner. They have to sit for me to open the back door when they want to go out. Wait inside the front door til told they can come out. Wait in the boot of the car before being let out and sit and have their leads taken off and wait a few moments to be released for a good run!!

  4. Sue @ The Golden Life says

    I’m like you — who has time? When you own a home, there’s ALWAYS something that needs to be done. BUT I do work on the same foundations with Callie & Shadow that you do with Sampson & Delilah — sit, wait, and leave it. Shadow’s recall isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than Callie’s. Shadow pretty much does whatever she can to make me happy. Callie, on the other hand, has a mind of her own and does whatever she wants to do. Of course, I have only myself & hubby to blame for that…when she was a puppy she was so cute that we just spoiled her every chance we got. Now I really need to work with her to undo some of the spoiling. :-)

  5. says

    Your dogs are SO SO good. They’ve really got that DoNothing command down pat! :) At obedience school, our teacher said 5-10 minutes a day was sufficient if that’s all the time we had. That turned out to be great advice. Cupcake’s attention span barely lasts that long!!

  6. says

    Our core list looks a lot like yours. Also, “Crate.”

    I go back and forth about how much time we have. Or, rather, sometimes training is a priority and sometimes it isn’t. In general our training is probably happening during the time that other dogs are out walking, since we can only get out a few times a week.

    I’m also a champ, if I say so myself, of 45 second training. As in, “I’m cooking and I have a scrap of cheese, let’s do a few dog tricks.” Or, “Lets practice a few sits as a break from fetch.” Or, right now, “You seem really fixated on trying to look out the crack between the blinds for something to bark at. Why don’t we do something useful instead.”

  7. says

    Looks like you’re doing a great job of building training ops into your regular schedule.

    Sometimes I feed Honey a meal by hand for training. I have to feed her anyway, so instead of using a food toy I click and treat for new behaviors.

    I can’t imagine how hard that would be if I were feeding her raw, though. :)

  8. says

    We used to do all of this . .but now that Cali is older someone that will remain unnamed doesn’t even make his dog sit before he gives her a treat or food. (sigh)

    I keep trying to tell him that she likes training . . it keeps her mind sharp! You are doing a great job of working training into your daily life!

  9. says

    It sure is hard to find time. My main motivator right now is that Star is such a barrel of energy in the evenings, and a bit of focused training time mellows her out so we can get some peace! We have been working on Go to Bed because its so calming and independence-building, and also some tricks because they tire her out :)

  10. says

    You’ve come up with some great ways to fit training in using no time at all…Ingenious :) I constantly work with Giz on “wait” and “come” when we’re out hiking, but I really ought to work osme of that “down” into our daily routine cause like Delilah Giz is pretty weak on “downs”

  11. says

    I try to avoid training if at all possible. I know everything I should do but I prefer to do what I want, when I want. Sometimes mom and I do have our arguments over my hearing but not listening issue but you know, for me critters are the most important thing in the world. Unless it is fenced in, I am on a leash.

  12. says

    Like you, we use the words in real life, every day. We talk a lot to Georgia and I really think that helps. Lately, we’ve been teaching her some Spanish commands. She’s doing better than us picking up the language LOL. Our training is very organic. She learns what I call living skills. When something pops up that we feel she needs to learn, we teach it. Not much into tricks 😉

  13. says

    Training to do nothing – my dog could use some of that! Just the other day I was questioning if she needs some more help with relaxation. She is always in such a hurry to do everything, it’s like she is a big city stockbroker or something with a giant to do list. I tell her we live in the Maritimes and things move slower here but she doesn’t seem to get it. Maybe I’ll give a little “nothing” training a shot myself!

  14. says

    Jodi…sounds like you do manage to squeeze more training in then you think. Plus, you’re always training on your walks and stuff too. We do the same thing over here, foundation training is part of every day life, and is used a lot at meal times, going through doorways, that sort of thing. As for actual training classes, we go when we can afford it, which has been less and less lately, unfortunately.

  15. says

    There’s always bathroom training. Not housebreaking, but training while you are in the bathroom. It used to be a joke on the one clicker list I used to be on, but if your house is like mine you never go to the bathroom alone and besides what else do you have to do when you are in there. :>)

  16. says

    Actually, that is no joke! I wish I could train Chester and Gretel to do nothing when out in public – no barking, no lunging, no pulling on the leash to go somewhere – so they would just sit quietly and nicely like some other dogs I see. I guess if I wanted THAT dog I should get something else besides a Dachshund. Ha, ha.


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