Less Really is More!

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I was browsing a book at the bookstore earlier this week and it talked about how dogs seem to learn in between training sessions. After a very short training session, they come back next time performing it better than the previous session. I have observed this with my own dogs.  (Are they practicing at night or something?? Haha!) This phenomenon is very interesting and it leads me to say that less really is more when you are working with your dog.

Clark’s Outings

photo 3(3)As you’ve seen, I’ve started taking Clark out more to explore new areas, BUT I’m not taking him out everyday. I want to build his confidence, not stress him out by challenging him every day. On days we don’t go out, we are working on come when called, loose leash walking, fetch, and hand touching. Just some simple behaviors to keep him on his toes. In fact, I just had a loose leash walking session with him for the first time in probably a month and he performed beautifully! (When we take him out, he is on a harness which he is allowed to pull on. When we attach the leash to his collar, its loose leash walking time.) Next time we will practice out in the backyard instead of in the house, but it is good to see that all that time off did not diminish his skills!

Loker’s Practice

DSC_0059I’ve also been working more on basic obedience such as heel, sit, down, and stay with Loker to help him get through his anxiety this past week. (He noticed that this isn’t really a vacation and that we are here to stay in our new home and has been pretty anxious.) I haven’t had much time to work with him lately because of the move, but he seemed to be even more excited about working and also performed well.

So, have you experienced this phenomena with your dog? It’s almost like the dog is practicing behind your back so he can be better for the next training session! I think breaks are underestimated in dog training and are useful if you are aware of how to use them. It keeps training fun and helps your dog absorb what they learned.

Another great article: Give Buddy a Break! – Wired Magazine