Don’t Over-Train Your Dog! These Studies Reveal the Keys to the Most Effective and Enjoyable Training

There is such a thing as over-training a dog, according to experts. And training your dog too much can have negative effects.

When you over-train a dog, the results will actually be poorly-learned skills, poor performance, and a very exhausted dog.

Photo: YouTube/Cesar Millan

That is because dog training should be fun, not overly strenuous, and healthy. When training a dog, its age, breed, temperament, and well-being must be considered. In addition to these, you need to know how long and how frequently you should train your dog based on expert advice.

Based on the study, The Effect of Frequency and Duration of Training Sessions on Acquisition and Long-term Memory in Dogs by Helle Demant and colleagues, it is best to train a dog once or twice a week rather than daily. The researchers also found out that dogs acquire the skills they have been trained for more effectively when the owner does only one training session each day rather than three sessions in a row.

Photo: YouTube/Cesar Millan

Forcing a dog to learn too much in a daily session just leads to a very tired dog with a loss of interest and enthusiasm. It may even resort to displacement behavior such as yawning or pretentious scratching out of boredom. What is worse, you may actually damage the relationship you have been trying to build with your dog.

Meanwhile, The Interrelated Effect of Sleep and Learning in Dogs by Ana Kis and associates emphasized the importance of allowing your dog to have adequate sleep for better memory retention. The study showed that a dog should at least be allowed to take a nap for an hour or so after training for memory consolidation. When fully rested, you can expect peak performance from your dog.

Photo: YouTube/Cesar Millan

It is also essential after training that the dog and its owner engage in play. The enjoyable experience, based on the study conducted by Nadia Affenzeller, helps the dog to have better and longer memory retention of the skills it has just acquired.

And so, if you are looking forward to training your new puppy or newly-adopted dog, bear these expert recommendations in mind. It will make training stress-free and a happier experience for you and your dog!

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