How Long Should I Train My Dog Per Day?

December 17, 2019

If you’re eager to start training your dog, then you’re probably wondering how long you should train them for each day. You don’t want them to get exhausted, but you also want to make sure that you spend enough time training them so that they can absorb the new information!

How Often Should I Train My Puppy Per Day?

Puppies absorb information like sponges, but have the lowest stress-tolerance and attention span of all dogs. Very young puppies (between 8-12 weeks old) should only practice for a couple minutes at a time, focusing on praising your puppy for doing the right thing.

Most puppies need a variety of exercises to keep them interested. Some exceptional puppies may focus for long periods of time due to their natural drive for food or toys, but even so, it's important not to overwork your puppy. Keep training sessions under 10-15 minutes to maximize learning while not stressing your puppy out.

How Many Times Can I Train My Dog Per Day?

It's far better to break up your training sessions into many small sessions throughout the day, than to have one "formal" training session that lasts for a long time. Although enrolling in group or private dog training classes may require your dog to focus for up to an hour at a time, most classes endeavor to break up the routine so that you're not working on the same thing 100% of the session.

For the best results, incorporate your dogs training into his everyday life. For example, making your dog sit before opening the door, giving him food, or letting him lay on furniture can help establish manners in the house without making any changes to your existing routine.

Depending on the type of training and your dogs temperament, you could break up an hour of training into 6, 10-minute sessions over the weekend, or 12 5-minute sessions during the week. If you're practicing take-home exercises from your dog training classes, aim to practice for a minimum of 5-10 minutes with your dog every night.

How Long Can Dogs Train For?

For some working breeds of dogs, like Rottweilers, German Shepherd's, Belgian Malinois, Doberman, and Pitbulls, it is not uncommon to hear of working dog clubs and training seminars that last for several hours consecutively. Dogs that can train for long periods of time usually take very little motiviation to train, and are naturally inclined to work. Usually, these dogs are very high energy and may be obsessed with toys, chasing balls, or fetching sticks.

Similarly, hunting dogs can happily work for hours or days in varying weather conditions, and some herding dogs that are still used in farm work are expected to work almost every day of their lives. The desire of dogs to work (sometimes called "gameness") varies greatly between dogs. If your dog is very enthusiastic about training, there is no harm in training for longer, or enrolling your dog in dog training classes to try new things.

Should I Train My Senior Dog?

Even if your senior dog doesn't have behavior problems, training them to understand obedience commands will go a long way in their overall mental stimulation. Dogs enjoy learning new things, and as they practice and get better it can help build their confidence, increase muscle tone, and keep your senior dog alert and well-balanced.

Senior dogs, like any dog, benefit greatly from regular training. Not only does training help keep your dog easy to manage when traveling, going to the vet, or staying with family, it also establishes a line of communication with your dog that can help old dogs be comfortable in new surroundings, or around new dog buddies.

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