April 6, 2015

Ten Minute Trick Training and Spring Training Giveaway

I'm very excited to be co-hosting this month's Positive Pet Training Week Blog Hop along with Cascadian Nomads and Tenacious Little Terrier. Not only are we talking about how training can be "fun sized" in easy, ten minute increments, but we are giving away an awesome prize package worth $75!

Ruby knows over thirty tricks and I am always trying to come up with new things to teach her and polish existing cues. I would like to apply for a trick title, but aside from that we trick train just for fun. It's a great way to provide mental stimulation during the long winter months, creates a strong bond and improves communication with your dog.

I use clicker training for shaping and capturing new tricks and also for refining known cues. Yesterday I decided we would work on a few of the tricks that have been in progress for a while, and see if we could have any breakthroughs. I set the timer for ten minutes and used Ruby's kibble dinner as treats. Ruby gets so excited when she sees I have the clicker - she really loves trick training and for this reason kibble is high value enough for her.

I actually think ten minutes is too long to work on one single behavior for Ruby. She is a very sensitive dog and if she is not getting something "right," she can get frustrated. I know it's time to move on to something different if she lays down during a session. She also tends to be an overachiever who will offer a lot of her tricks before I even ask. Commonly when I ask for 'down,' she will go ahead and roll over, or when I ask for 'sit' she will go ahead and sit pretty. I have to be fast with the clicking and treating to mark what I've asked for.

Yesterday when working on one of her more challenging tricks, 'march,' in which I want her walk forward while raising her front legs up high, like chorus-line kicks, I realized the importance of breaking things down into smaller steps. I also learned that I needed to increase the rate of reinforcement (delivery of treats). Eventually I want Ruby to take multiple steps on one cue, but my goal yesterday was just to get one step from each foot. If she took more than two steps I would "jackpot" reward her and give her a small handful of kibble.

I think we made a lot of progress in just ten minutes - a wonderful reminder that everyone has time to train! Whether you want to teach a fun trick or work on something practical like loose-leash walking or recall, dedicating ten minutes a day to training is an easy way to positively affect your relationship with your dog.

Enter our giveaway for a chance to win a prize package containing a nosework DVD, puzzle toy and more!

No purchase necessary. Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and over. Void where prohibited. Giveaway will run from Monday, April 6th, 2015 through Sunday, April 12th, 2015 at 11:59pm PT. One (1) winner will be randomly selected by PromoSimple.com and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize; failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the prize. Participants must read and agree to PromoSimple's Privacy Policy before entering and participating in this promotion. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, KONG, Outward Hound, Zuke's, i-Click, Dogwise Publishing and Howln Moon Press do not sponsor, administer, or endorse this promotion. Prize pack will be shipped separately by participating bloggers who donated prize items. Prize pack may not be as pictured. 

This post is part of the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop - join us on the first Monday of every month to promote positive pet training and share advice and experiences. The hop is open all week long! The next hop begins May 4th with a review theme - please join us if you have a book, DVD or other positive training aid review to contribute.


  1. I find it so amazing how distinctive our pets' personalities can be. I think it's a testament to their intelligence, which I wish more people would recognize.

  2. It's so amazing what can be accomplished in shorter training sessions!

  3. You had the same experience that I did with the Teach Your Dog Something New In Ten Minutes training game, Lara. I learned so much more than the dogs did but it was time so well spent for all of us.

  4. Positive reinforcement is key and I am so glad to see such a fantastic giveaway with fab bloggers to get the word out.

  5. What a cool prize pack! Clicker training is great. As you mentioned, you have to listen to your pet to know how long is too long to train at one time. It is better to take things at your pet's pace than to try and wear them out.
    -Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

  6. A great prize pack!!! I loved the 10 minute challenge. Shyla is like Ruby - when the clicker comes out, she gets super happy!!!!

  7. Hahaha Donna is somewhat like Ruby in the frustration department... :P Have fun!

  8. I can't wait until you master that trick. That'll be super cute! :) Buster also has a tendency to get frustrated, so the shorter training sessions help that as well.

  9. I love clicker training. I have noticed five tricks at once from Jade as well. I never thought about it being overachieving until you said that! I am learning just as much as she is through our training.

  10. Oh, I love how you had also mentioned that Ruby lies down when frustrated. On top of that, I often call Luke an "overachiever" too because he'll just start offering different behaviors if he doesn't get a treat right off. I love that she and Luke are similar in these ways....I'd love to get up to 30 tricks! I've also thought about the trick title, but I think we'll just work on things on our own for now. Maybe next winter though!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets


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