The other day, while watching television, I used commercial breaks to practice a few things with our Sam. In the two minutes of time, we were able to work on combinations of sit/down/stand/stay, hand targeting and weaving through my legs. In another break, I took out my circular pie pan and practiced stationing to it (going to it and standing with his front two paws on it). When the commercials were over, I gave Sam his ‘All Done’ release cue and stopped to focus on my program again.
Here is my point. That sort of impromptu, every day teaching sessions are awesome to build into your day. The most effective training is done in short intervals, ending on a positive note, so that both you and your learner can really focus.
There are so many behaviors you can work on in a minute or two minutes time, and even just as you go about your day. Here are just a few suggestions:
Sit and/or down/stay – adding distance, duration and distractions
Recall – ask your dog to sit, walk to another part of your house and call him to come (or course, giving him a nice reward for getting to you)
Body touching – if your dog does not like to be touched in certain places, you can spend time teaching him that touches are the predictor of food or play
Tricks – work on teaching your dog some new and fun behaviors
Crate games – reinforce your dog for running and staying in his crate or bed
What ideas do you have for making the most of that minute or two with your pet?