Many people struggle to find the time to train their dogs, and with today’s busy lifestyles, I am very sympathetic to the problem. (Between my work with dogs, my writing, teaching at the university, being a wife and mom, coaching soccer and my running, I am always strapped for time. In fact, lately I have adopted a policy of, “If it’s not on fire, I’m not putting it out yet.”) And yet, I think it’s possible to find time to train our dogs. It’s a matter of squeezing in a minute here, a minute there, rather than trying to find those elusive big blocks of time. Of course, I’m in favor of more training over less, but it’s better to incorporate a little training into daily life than to do no training at all.
The basic idea is to work little training moments into your life in ways that don’t take time away from other activities. Sure, it’s great to spend a lot of time training your dog, and I wish that everyone would do so. But if training seems to be eluding you despite your best intentions, try considering little ways to work in training moments every day. Even 10 minutes a day in little bouts of 15-60 seconds can make a tremendous difference. You’ll reap the benefits of a better trained dog, losing that feeling of guilt for not training more, and having more time to do what you really want, which hopefully includes exercising with and playing with your dog.