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Tuesday Training Byte: Getting the most out of your training

There are several ways to improve your training time. Sometimes the small details can make a major difference. First, make sure you have a special training collar. If you normally keep a flat cloth buckle collar on your dog, switch to a fur saver slip chain collar for training sessions only. Harnesses are counter-productive for training and walking your dog. It may be okay for riding in the car or a brief walk in your neighborhood, but if you want your dog to heel, ditch the harness. Before you train, give your dog time to exercise, sniff, roll, paw the ground off leash in a fenced yard or on a long leash attached to his regular collar. Then for about 30minutes prior to your session, crate your pup without any interaction. This serves two purposes: your dog's physical and mental needs have been met to prepare him to focus, and now after crating he is eager for interaction with you. The third tip is to keep your sessions upbeat and short. If your dog is not catching on to a new command after a few tries, go back to what he does know and do that for a few minutes and end your session. After the session, I reward the dog with a little play time or petting. Consistency in your commands and routine will pay off. If you can train 4 days a week for 15 minutes, you will be surprised how quickly your dog catches on. Happy training!

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