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Terrier on a leash sitting by its owner waiting to go outside on a walk.
©Javier brosch -

Don’t think you have time to dedicate to training your dog? Think again. After your dog has been socialized and taught the basic commands, just 15 minutes a day should maintain your pet’s good behaviors. Here are three times even the busiest person can squeeze in a training session or two:

While You’re Watching T.V.

TV commercials are great times to train your dog, as long as you’re prepared for them. Keep some treats close by and spend the few minutes of commercials practicing the basics. That way, you’re making use of the time you would normally just be vegging out. The result will be a trained dog, and you’ll still able to discuss the merits of whoever has been voted off the show/island/runway that night.

While You’re Walking

You have to walk your dog anyway, right? Well, make the most of the time. You can work on heeling, sit and stay (while you’re picking up after him), and the come command.  Watch me is a great command to use when your dog gets focused on something you’d rather he ignore, and leave it solves a multitude of sins, from not picking up a chicken bone from the sidewalk to cutting short a sniffing session with a new dog who seems uncomfortable.

While You’re Cooking

Whether you’re throwing some hot dogs on the grill, cooking a five-course gourmet feast, or warming up leftovers in the microwave, you can absolutely train your dog while preparing a meal! You can have him do a down-stay while you gather ingredients from the refrigerator, or you can send him to his place while you’re chopping parsley. As a bonus, your dog is learning that the kitchen is not a place to race around, looking to snag a bite to eat, but rather a place where good manners are rewarded. Just like with the kids, right?

Originally published in AKC Family Dog.

Still having trouble? Consider calling the AKC GoodDog! Helpline where dog-training experts are available to offer advice and assistance.
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Puppy Socialization

Socializing your dog in an important step in raising a balanced and happy dog. Not sure where to start? Download this e-book for some tips.
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