Like everything in life, it takes time to build, grow or create something great. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Whether you want to build a house, lose weight or get into shape, you must take consistent actions to work toward your goal. Training your pet is no different!

Over the years, I’ve found that my clients tend to fit into one of the three following categories when it comes to practicing skills with their pets. People will either not practice at all, practice once or twice for long periods of time (30 minutes or more), or they practice multiple times a week for short sessions (5-10 minutes). The practice schedule they choose has a direct correlation on how quickly their pet learns the new skill. I think it is pretty obvious that if you don’t practice at all, it’s not very likely your pet will learn the new skill. If you practice once or twice a week for longer periods of time, your pet may eventually learn the skill, but it will probably take a long time. However, if you practice daily for 5-10 minutes, your pet has a much better chance of learning the new skill. Although it may seem obvious that “practice makes perfect”, I still have clients who want to change their pet’s behavior but are not willing to put in the work.

This information is not new. Ask any personal trainer and they will say the same thing about getting into shape. Exercising for 20 minutes every day will give you better results than if you exercise once or twice a week for 2hours. If you find you are struggling to motivate yourself to train your pet, here are a few tips I like to help you get started.

  • Put training time in your calendar or schedule. Treat it like an important doctor appointment you are not going to cancel
  • Only schedule 5-10 minutes each day and set a timer
  • Look at it as “special time” with your pet instead of “work”
  • Make it fun for you and your pet – find treats they love and play music that makes it more fun for you
  • Reward yourself after the training session (eat a special treat, watch a favorite TV show, do something you enjoy)

Putting in 5 – 10 minutes each day will show much quicker and lasting results, and be more pleasing for you and your pet!