N.E.T. = No Extra Time
I hear this way to often: people saying they don’t have time to train their dog. Yet they put up with all the extra time it takes when behaviors are lacking or situations are not rehearsed. Many people pay good money to take their dog to a training class yet without implementing the lessons into everyday life, nothing will change for the better. Maybe we’re feeling overwhelmed and just don’t know where to start.
There is an easy solution to the time dilemma and it’s called N.E.T. = No Extra Time and I’d like to share some ideas and tips on how and where to use NETime. With a little bit of planning and preparation, we can set ourselves up to use small time slots for short training sessions .. most good training happens in very short sessions anyhow!
- While boiling water for your tea or brewing your coffee: this is a great time to train some boundaries or other behaviors. Keeping some closed containers with kibble in various locations throughout your house allows for little impromptu training sessions. Preparedness is key!
- Commercial breaks while watching TV are just the perfect length for a quick training session.
- Put a list of games you want to focus on for the week on your fridge, or on a post-in beside your computer or get a small white board… this keeps you focused on current goals.
- Not limited to dog training: listen to inspirational and educational podcasts while driving. There’s a new “Sexier Than a Squirrel” (dog training) podcast every week, free on Spotify and iTunes.
- Playing Boundary Games while watching a movie: put a mat, dog bed or crate beside your favorite TV chair and drip feed your dog’s dinner while they’re hanging out on the boundary (it’s just their dinner!!! No extra food needed). This will quickly increase the value for the boundary which in turn helps grow overall calmness in the house, it’s a WIN-WIN!
- I’ve done a lot of distraction training while watching TV for dogs who react to certain noises, barking in particular: every time that particular noise happens on TV, calmly say a verbal marker such as NICE, or GOOD and then scatter a few pieces of food on the floor. This changes your dog’s emotional response to the trigger and teaches them that those “noises” are NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.
- A lot of training can be done during your daily walks: take some of your dog’s food ration with you and practice a few moves and turns… your dog might actually find you more interesting and pay less attention to all the smells and other distractions!
- By having closed food containers available in various locations in your house, you can spontaneously reward desired behaviors and notice how your dog responds to these “out of the blue” rewards! Cool, right!
- Many people are working from home these days and that changes the dynamic of the household for the family and their 4-legged members. It’s important that the dogs don’t get used to following us around all day where they would normally nap for many hours while alone at home. Maybe we can practice some boundary games while working on the computer: setting up a dog bed or crate nearby the desk and occasionally and slowly drip feeding some of their daily food while they sleep.
- Presence doesn’t mean access: Just because you’re home doesn’t mean that you’re available at all times. Set up a crate or x-pen and leave your dog with a long lasting chew or stuffed kong for a while. This is still dog training!!!
- Take an on-line class! It takes less time since you don’t have to travel and it’s a great way to learn for many dogs who wouldn’t do well in a group class. Or maybe you can’t attend an in-person class due to family obligations or irregular work-schedules. On-line learning gives you the flexibility you need!
I’m sure there are many more creative ways to enrich our dog’s lives that won’t take any extra time!
Check out the Schedule for On-Line Classes with Pawsome Connection Dog Training
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