how long should I train my dog each day

How Long Should I Work My Dog on Obedience Per Day?

A question we get on a daily basis at our dog training center in Alaska is, “How much time per day should I spend working my dog on obedience training?”

When working your dog on obedience, there should be a few elements that you keep in mind:

-Incorporate the obedience into play sessions; therefore, the dog does not really even look at it like work. 

-Keep the sessions at about 45 minutes max, per session.  Generally, most dogs are pretty wiped out after about 45 minutes of solid obedience training.  There are exceptions to this with working dogs, etc; however, that’s a good general rule to follow.

-Give “breaks” throughout the training sessions.  See the first rule, there should be a lot of “play” throughout the training, as well.

What is the maximum amount of time per day I can work with my dog?

To be honest, you can work your dog each day more than you probably WILL work with your dog each day! To give you an example, with our Peak Experience program, we work the dogs over 3 hours per day!  There are very few people who will dedicate this much time to working their dog every single day.

Again, sticking to my training rules I listed above, their average schedule is around 45 minutes to 1 hour in the morning, 4 hour break, 1 hour afternoon, 4 hour break, 1 hour evening, break, and some more training at night prior to them going to bed.

What is the minimum amount of time per day I should work with my dog?

While your dog is “going through” a training program, you should work with them at minimum 30 to 40 minutes per day.  This should be done to ensure that your dog has a really good concept of the last command that was learned, and they are prepared for the next training session.

What is the best way to work with my dog every day?

At our dog training camp in Alaska, I tell people that in order to gain the most benefit from their training, it’s best to just use the dog’s obedience everyday throughout their daily routine.  Doing this is FAR more effective than you just going home, going in your backyard, and doing come, sit, place (etc), repeatedly for 45 minutes.

Example: When it’s time to feed your dog, have them sit, walk away, sit their food bowl down, make them wait a minute, and release them.

Example: When you go out a door, make them sit, you walkout, and make them wait until you release them.

Example: When someone comes to the door, “place” them on their dog bed, make them wait patiently, and the release them.

By just using the obedience in real-life/day-to-day scenarios, your dog will get far more benefit out of the training than if you just walk them into your background and practice for 45 minutes straight.

If you want maximum results, practice the 45 minutes IN ADDITION to using the obedience daily in real-world scenarios.


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