Fast and Fun Training Sessions

Fast and Fun Training Sessions

Keeping training sessions short and fun helps dogs stay engaged and motivated and can help with your dog’s focus and self-control by eliminating distractions. 

At Dogby, we explore how dogs experience the world with activities, games, and toys that are interactive, fun, and enriching for dogs of all sizes and ages. We love treat-based training as a great activity to strengthen your communication with your dog, burn their mental energy, and have fun together.

These tips can help you make your training sessions easier and more effective to make sure they are fun for both of you:


1. Make it easy for your dog to win. 

If you’re only willing to reward your dog for the exact, perfect behavior that you are trying to teach, you probably won’t get very far. After a handful of tries where they get nothing, your dog will probably give up.

You’ll make more progress and have more fun if you break it down into baby steps. For example, if you want your dog to come when called at the dog park but they never respond to you there, start by teaching them to come when called inside your house. When that’s going well, try your own yard, maybe even play a game outside for 15 minutes first so they are nice and bored when you try to call them. Keep building, baby step by baby step as your dog has success.

Don’t be afraid to take a step backward. Learning isn’t linear, so there will be times when you need to drop down a step (or two or three) so your dog can have more success than failure again.


2. Keep it short and sweet. 

One thing that can keep us from training our dogs is that it feels too hard to fit it into our schedules. But, it really doesn’t need to take much time! 5 minutes is plenty of time for a training session. 

Not only are shorter training sessions easier to fit into your schedule, they also work better for many dogs. By ending the session when it’s still a fun, positive experience for them, you leave them wanting more and feeling excited for the next session.

Plus, if you follow the next three tips, you’ll be shocked at how much progress you can make in just 5 minutes!


3. Use pea-sized treats. 

Tiny treats allow you to generously reward your dog without overfilling them or giving them GI issues. This is key for a couple reasons. First, health concerns are one of the other big roadblocks that can limit training time. Second, the more treats you give your dog when they are on the right track, the more information they get about what you want them to do, the faster they learn.

If you’re training in a low-distraction indoor environment and your dog likes them, diced up carrots, peas, or Cheerios can make great treats. But, if your dog isn’t interested in working for them, you’ll have to find something else!

If your dog is under 30 pounds, you might even go smaller than pea-sized with your treats.


4. Stay focused on your dog. 

During your training session, ditch your phone and cut out any distractions that might pull your attention away from training.  When you are engaged, your dog will also be more engaged. Plus, by keeping your eyes on your dog, you’ll be more likely to notice and reward anything your dog does that is close to what you are trying to train.

The other benefit of staying focused on your dog is that you can maintain a fast pace in your training. Research suggests that a rate of reinforcement of roughly 10 treats per minute is the ideal training pace. A fast training pace allows you to give your dog lots of information about what you want them to do and keeps them engaged.


Share your training progress with us!

Be sure to take a photo during your training and share with us using #DogbyBox or tagging us in your posts on Facebook and Instagram. We love seeing you and your pup using our enrichment tools and exploring each discovery kit.

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