Don’t Let Your Dog Flunk Obedience: Part 1 of 3

Determining What Environment is Best to Train Your Dog

By Laura Pakis, certified professional trainer and blogger

How often have you heard dog owners say, “my dog flunked obedience class.” With so many different methods, settings and styles of dog training, obedience problems can inevitably result — depending on what you choose, the temperament and personality of your dog. Similar to humans, dogs learn in a variety of ways. And just like humans, some dogs take longer to grasp a concept than others.

One Theory for an Average Dog Learning a Task is as Follows:

  • 24 hours: If not repeated; the memory is absent
  • 1 to 5 Days: repeated daily; the task is in short term memory
  • 1 to 30 Days: repeated daily; the task in long term memory

Improvement in a dog’s performance continues when training is effective. Of course environmental factors (trainer effectiveness, task complexity, lesson style, etc.) influence the time frame, as do the dog’s genetic factors.

Typical Obedience Training Timetable

Another statement of expected learning curve is more profound. An average student with an average dog needs about 3 months for a task to be 85% reliable. A good student with a good dog decreases the number of weeks to 10 weeks for 85% reliability. And a poor student with an average dog increases the amount of time for 85% reliability to about 4 months (most likely due to inconsistencies and poor timing).

So what type of setting is best to train a dog? This will be discussed in part 2 of this series!

Benefits of Group Obedience Classes for Dogs | Acme Canine

Choose the best learning environment & style to ensure your pup learns for the long-term! View pt. 2 in our “Don’t Let Your Dog Flunk Obedience” series.

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