I know you guys are thinking How long will it take to train my dog? It’s a question I receive a lot from new dog owners, and it’s never easy to respond to.
When evaluating how long it will take to teach a dog, there are various aspects to consider. Are you aiming to solve a behavior difficulty or teaching fundamental skills?
What is the dog’s learning history?
Have they been trained using punishment or other unpleasant methods in the past?
Are they grownups who have never had any formal education?
It is vital to ask how committed the humans involved are to training. Whether we can train a dog quickly depends as much on the humans doing the training as on the dog’s ability to learn. If you don’t consistently reinforce those skills, your dog will become spotty and underdeveloped. As a trainer, I can teach your dog to sit, down, stay, and basic recall within a few weeks.
In spite of the fact that we are unable to tell you how long a training session will take, we can provide you with eight insights to help you make an informed decision about how fast or slow you should train your dog.
A Dog’s Training Timeline Looks like this:
Here’s the Timeline of Dog’s Training which you can use properly to train a dog at your home easily:
Get Everyone on Board with the Plan
It’s critical to have everyone in the family on the same page when it comes to dealing with behavioral issues and teaching new skills. If we’re attempting to educate a dog that leaping on people doesn’t get them the attention they want, the human family members must agree to turn around, exit via a doorway, or walk away if the dog leaps on them.
If everyone is on board, the dog will learn that he may jump till the cows come home, but until he changes his attention-seeking method, he will never get the attention he craves.
Jumping will eventually fade away (vanish), replaced by more polite pleas, as long as those nice requests are rewarded. If one member of the family decides to shower attention on the dog when they leap up, the dog learns that the tactic works on occasion and has no need to forsake it in favor of something more polite.
It is Important to Remain Consistent Over Time
Along with having everyone in the family on board with the training techniques, they must be constantly enforced over time. Consider self-serving behaviors like leaping up for attention, as if your dog were playing a love slot machine.
When Fido leaps up four out of five times, you ignore him until he gives a more courteous alternative to leaping (i.e., standing calmly with four paws on the floor or sitting at your feet). But the fifth time, you forget or are preoccupied, and you give your attention to your dog when they leap. You may be willing to play a few games and try your luck if the odds of winning at a slot machine were one in five.
Your dog is doing the same thing. If the fun, natural conduct gets rewarded one out of every five times, you might as well try it before gently asking attention.
Changing a Bad Habit is Easier than Building a Good one:
When was the last time you tried to break yourself of a bad habit? Have you ever bitten your nails or smoked? As you probably know, it is much harder to break a habit you have repeated dozens or hundreds or thousands of times than it is to bring something completely new into your routine.
In the same way, our dogs work on the same principle. It is always easier to teach your dog a new skill than to try to change his existing relationship with an object, activity, or person.
Emotionally Based Behaviors Take Time to Change
We can teach a simple beginning skill like sitting or down with relatively little effort depending on the specific dog. Training to improve fear or anxiety-based habits, on the other hand, requires a long-term commitment. We’re attempting to get to the bottom of an issue that’s deeply rooted in your dog’s brain when we use classical conditioning techniques like desensitization and counterconditioning.
Consider overcoming your personal fear of spiders, heights, tight areas, or anything else that scares you. Would a single treatment session make a difference in how you react to these triggers? What about a total of ten sessions? How about twenty sessions?
There’s no way to tell for sure. Teaching your dog to trust you and providing them the space they need to work through their worry will determine how fast, if at all, the fear fades.
Unless your Dog Can Learn Quickly, you Won’t be Able to Train him
Every dog develops at his or her own rate. Breed type and age can have a role—young, flexible dogs, as well as working types, learn quickly—but it truly comes down to the person, not maturity or heredity.
If you can introduce new abilities to your dog in a peaceful, comfortable area with few distractions, such as inside the house, he is more likely to succeed. Even in ideal circumstances, your dog may have difficulty understanding some cues or learning in general. (For further information, see below.)
Because a student’s ability to learn is frequently influenced by the quality of the instructor, be sure you’re communicating effectively and working at a speed that your dog can handle.
Learning is Rewarded with High-Quality Rewards
Your dog will be more eager to learn if you provide greater rewards throughout training. Kibble and boxed treats are OK (though they may not be effective in some situations), but try high-value goodies like little pieces of hot dog, chicken, or cheese for speedier replies.
There is no such thing as a dog that has been completely trained
Dogs, like people, are never truly finished learning. So, even after you’ve taught them a foolproof down-stay and a lethal recall, their training isn’t finished. Your dog will be watching you for cues on how to navigate their surroundings throughout your time together!
It’s up to you to try to communicate in ways that lead to behaviors that you prefer rather than those that you don’t. Continue to reinforce the behaviors you’ve taught with treats on a regular or even irregular basis over time to ensure that your dog doesn’t abandon them because there’s no benefit to them.
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