What Makes Efficient Training?

You’ll often hear trainers talk about efficient training. There is a lot that contributes to this, and a certain amount of what constitutes ‘efficient’ is down to each trainer’s personal preference. I share my thoughts on the topic below. 

1. Clarity for dog and human

Training that is confusing or makes either end of the equation unsure can be very difficult to work through. All of us have those moments where we’re trying to learn something new and it’s just hard. Some of us revel in that challenge, some of us try to hide from it. No matter how much we enjoy challenge, there is always a level at which we give up. We don’t want our dogs to experience this, nor do we want the handler to experience this! If you’re struggling to carry out a training exercise, your frustration at the challenge level is going to be felt by your dog, just as any frustration your dog experiences will be felt by you. Training that is clear for both of you allows for progress throughout a training plan. 

2. Gets results

So often, trainers forget that their clients need results. If you aren’t getting closer to your goal then frustration at that is going to bleed into the training you’re doing and as described above, it will be felt by both you and your dog. 

3. Is easy to implement into your life

Training plans that you know will never fit into your life aren’t good training plans! As above, you need results. Training plans that are impossible for you to carry out will never get you results. Now, don’t take this to mean that changing behaviour is easy and requires little effort. You will have to make a conscious effort to put training in and ensure that your results happen. However, training should not feel impossible, if it does feel that way, talk to your trainer. Explain what barriers you feel are there and see if they can help reduce those barriers if not remove them. For example, if you have three dogs and two need to be walked by themselves in order to implement training but that simply doesn’t fit in with your schedule and won’t get done. If walking the dogs together will actively make their behaviour worse, your trainer should be talking through how two dogs can be walked solo, or the third dog can be taken out of the equation in order to make the training happen rather than just telling you to do what they say!

What makes training efficient for you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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