Train your dog in 30 seconds

Can this possibly be true? Yes, there are all kinds of things you can usefully do with your dog in 30 seconds.

What’s the snag? Well, just like those fitness plans that promise you can get fit in 30 seconds, I’m not talking about just one period of 30 seconds. You need consistency and repeated instances of 30 seconds. Unlike interval training, you won’t need recovery time after the 30 seconds and you don’t need another 30 seconds straightaway. Each 30 seconds is easy and fitted into your day whenever you have a moment.

Stopwatch

Attribution: Wouterhagens (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ll tell you about some of the things my bipeds did with me in 30 seconds. They would often ask me to “sit” – I’ve explained in “A sit in time saves nine” that this is one of their favourite requests and that they brainwashed me into sitting almost automatically. Well, this is how they did it – 30 seconds here, there and everywhere to request a “sit” and now my bottom parks itself as soon as they say “sit”!

They sometimes asked me to “stand”, or do a “down”, even a very brief “stay”. Sometimes they would just quickly look in one of my ears and give me a treat. At other times they would check one of my paws and give me a treat.

I love being brushed now, but I had a phase as an adolescent when I hated it! They would often come up to me and briefly brush my tail or the backs of my legs, those were the parts I most disliked being brushed, and then they gave me a treat.

Dog biscuit

Another thing my bipeds would do is give me a treat, or just tell me I was being good, when I was settled down quietly. This doesn’t sound like training at all, but it is giving positive reinforcement to a desired behaviour. Even now I’m grown up and know how to behave, I love hearing that I’m good! And I’m pleased to say that they’re still in the habit of telling me so frequently – bless their little cotton socks!

See you next Wednesday!

82 Comments

  1. My Pyrenees Jeep is such a big boy! he is awesome but he is a huge male creature. I needed something to help me to reel him in so to speak and I think this will do the trick! Thanks so much Clowie!!!!

    • Yes, it should help. I was very bouncy when I was an adolescent, but gradually got the idea that it wasn’t appreciated indoors. They said I was too big to bounce indoors, but I’m probably quite dainty compared to Jeep!

  2. Those few seconds throughout the day really work. Chancy is eager to do what I ask most times because he don’t know when the treat is going to come. He likes the “Good boy” and the pats but he LOVES the treats which he doesn’t get as often. He tries harder to please that way. Hugs and nose kisses sweet Clowie…we love your blog and all your advice is helpful. Hugs and nose kisses

    • Thank you. It’s always fun to get a few moments attention and it keeps us interested in what you’re up to, as we never know when you’re going to pause and give us some attention. Have a fun weekend!

  3. Cool and really enjoyable post as per usual.

    Best wishes and happy weekend ahead, dear Clowie,

    Aquileana :P

  4. Training is important on BOTH sides of the equation! Bipeds and animals alike……seems to me both of you are doing a mighty good job of it……………!

    Hugs, Sammy

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the reminder! Chewy knows sit and down and stay, but I need to be working on it all the time. He’s fast, so getting close enough to snatch him up is tricky. Sit helps. Some.

    • Sit has helped my bipeds catch me a time or two! It sounds as though Chewy is doing his best to keep you on your toes, I hope you can slow him down a bit! Have a good weekend.

  6. I love positive reinforcement – especially if it involves treats!

  7. Thirty seconds just about covers our training. Once I score the treats, I’m done! We have to train them though or they don’t give treats on time! Great points Clowie.

  8. You have such wisdom Clowie; as always. It does not take that much time to learn how to interact with your woofie companion and keep her safe. 30 seconds several times a day is all it often takes

  9. Love this! Maya and Pierson learn much faster if I do several short training sessions rather than a few long ones.

  10. Cool idea! No time for boredom to set in, and ideal for even the shortest of attention spans :) Perhaps this is a technique parents could practice with their children!!!!

    • Thank you! No time to get bored and it’s always a pleasant surprise to quickly earn a treat! I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with little bipeds!!

  11. snoopys@snoopysdogblog

    Hey Clowie

    I like these ideas, it sounds like a lot of treats I’m missing out on, I’ll have to tell my Mum! :)

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  12. What a great idea! So many folks, when they hear “training” tend to think it needs to be almost a full time thing.

  13. We believe you because you have done such a fine job with Clowie!

  14. *sigh*
    I wish it was as good with cats… *sigh* Thirty seconds, hm?
    Today I needed nearly 15 minutes to get Esme to eat her daily pill.
    I hid it in a sausage as I usually do – but today she didn’t want to eat. I talked, whispered, begged… nothing…
    At the end I got tired and hid the piece of sausage in some beef… 15 minutes for something that’s good for her. *sigh*

    • Ah, it’s much trickier with cats! Pippin used to be very difficult about tablets. He wouldn’t eat them in anything. The biped had to throw the tablets down his neck, which was sometimes quite a struggle. He decided he didn’t like that and takes the tablets willingly.

  15. This is great advice, and so very true. Our furkid was so attuned to our little commands, all he needed to hear was the first consonant, or see a hand move a certain way, and our wish was his command. Sit became Ssss and his butt was on the floor, Down became just a hand gesture and his four were splayed with tongue hanging out and tail a-waggin…it’s absolutely about ‘consistency’. And treats of course! :)

    • Thank you. We have hand gestures as well as words for the basic commands – it can be very useful.
      Little and often is a great way to train. The more treats the better, of course – I’m always willing to walk them off!

      • Oh the walking was an adventure. Folks (kindly meant but unsolicited advice) would often suggest I would have done well to better leash train him, but a big part of the enjoyment was the shear enthusiasm he showed when pulling me along behind him. And when he came upon a spectacularly juicy smell, he always waited for me to come and enjoy it with him. Had he not been such a good listener, I would likely have had to been stricter with the leash, but when I said Car he stopped and sat beside me, the rest of the time, it was us hell bent for leather and stinkier smells. Miss it terribly!

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