Ask the Expert: Why is it taking so long to train my dog?


Dear Experts,

Does it really take two weeks to train your dog for the SpotOn System?
- Ally B, Cleveland, Ohio

    Dear Ally,

    We checked in with SpotOn trainer Rick Alto to help answer your question, and it seems that it’s a little more complicated than a simple yes or no! It is possible to speed through some basic steps, at which point your dog would be ‘trained’ on the system, but that would be similar to speeding through the foundational training for a puppy.

    Rush through foundational training and you’ll end up with a dog that comes to you half the time, or only comes to you when they feel like it. Or, you can take your time with training and end up with a dog that always comes to you and a dog you can count on to be recalled when there is danger.

    It’s the same with this system. If you want a dog that is trained well to the system and you want to be able to travel or use the system at places like the beach or a campground, it’s best to invest the time to really help him or her understand the system fully. By setting aside just 15 minutes a day for 2 weeks, you can reliably train your dog. Your dog will love the quality time you’re spending with them, and you’ll be bonding at the same time! 

    “Dogs think in pictures, or through associations - if this, then that,” Rick explains. “Dogs need time to process and make the connection with the behaviors you are attempting to train. If you try to do it too fast, dogs can become confused or afraid. People who take the time to properly train their dog will end up being totally satisfied with the SpotOn System.”

    “Following one of the SpotOn dog training plans will work if you put the time in (15 minutes) every day for two weeks,” Rick continues. Make training sessions short and fun and use praise and high value treats, like Zukes training treats, string cheese pieces, or cut up hot dogs as rewards.

    Rick Alto

    ExFed Dog Training 

    Rick is a certified professional dog trainer; graduate of the prestigious National K9 School for Dog Trainers in Columbus, Ohio; and a professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) where he serves on the board of directors and oversees the service dog and legislative committees.

    His journey with dog training started when he was 10 years old and his mother brought home a standard poodle named Sam, who had been retired from the show ring and needed to learn ALL the basics. Friends and neighbors remarked at Rick’s innate ability with dogs and referred to him as the local “dog whisperer.”

    After a 36-year career as a special agent in federal law enforcement, Rick decided to “retire” and pursue his passion and fulfill his dream by entering the world of dog training full-time.

    As a dog trainer, Rick is dedicated to positive and effective training solutions that are balanced and fair for the dog. Rick is equally committed to furthering his education, allowing him to offer you the best possible training solutions and methods.

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