When training a dog there are many different key points that must be considered. I have found that remaining consistent means working with your dog daily. This consistency will allow your dog to “remember” what they have learned. Dogs learn best through repetition. As a general rule dogs will simply repeat learned behaviors when rewarded or praised. Depending on the energy level of the dog, it may be beneficial to exercise him or her prior to training as this will help them to focus and differentiate between work time and play time. For most dogs, fifteen to twenty minutes is the longest that a trainer should spend at one time teaching new skills. A trainer can have multiple sessions a day but should allow ample time in between for play and rest.
The first steps in training a dog require taking steps to focus the dog on what you are teaching them to do. This may include such things as playing, praising and giving healthy treats. Playing can effectively cause the dog to watch you carefully; looking to see what you are about to do. Playing also tires the dog so that it will become more difficult for the dog to resist commands that it is given. Praising is an effective way to hold a dog’s attention and build a solid relationship of mutual respect and love. Giving the dog healthy treats is a way to offer praise and get them to watch you while they wait for another snack.
It is important to keep in mind that a dog is similar to a child in that they have a short attention span. When going through new routines, they may come to a saturation point where they will not be able to learn anymore without some time to rest and play. Giving the dog some time to catch up and relax will allow it to focus more completely when it is time to learn.