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How long does it take to train a puppy or dog?

Updated: Apr 29

Many factors are at play when you train your dog.

Five dogs participate in Hustle Up Dog Training classes in Vancouver, from left to right, Yuki, Kenza, Wolfe, Bodhi & Rocket.
Five dogs participate in Hustle Up Dog Training classes in Vancouver, from left to right, Yuki, Kenza, Wolfe, Bodhi & Rocket.

This question comes up more often than not during initial enquiries when I receive a call asking about the length of time it takes to train a dog. The question is a good question and here is why! There are many factors at play when it comes to how long it will take you to train your furry friend.


Even climate can play a role in dog training.


Dog training in Vancouver or a warmer climate without the blustery winters certainly is a plus for dog owners. And it’s great to see Vancouver dog owners take advantage of mild winters. Climate and geographic location both play a role in length of time to train a dog. For instance, if you want a dog off-leash trained, to be in control and abide by needed requests, a person in a milder climate will have success sooner than a person who lives in -32 C.


Dedication is one of the most important factors in dog training.


Dedication is another factor which I look at when a client is training the dog. Some people simply give up and will quit, other people try 50% of the time, some only work on the dog training home work when they feel like it, others work diligently and commit to the new responsibility when it comes to owning and training the new furry family member. A dedicated and committed dog owner will have a trained puppy or dog long before a person who is less than fully involved and committed to train their canine companion.


Unravelling months of errors in dog training can be a brief setback.


Most dog owners have already seen three to five dog trainers before they stumble upon me or my website or hear about my training. I must keep in mind that the dog and dog owner have been set up to FAIL and the present dog trainers have relied upon dog treats and other gimmicks which will appear to work but don’t and fail the dog and dog owners. The one thing which does happen is the dog becomes elevated in its role in the household to ALPHA. So, when I am asked how long will dog training take, this is a factor in which I must consider and be honest with my clients. When dogs assume they are top dog in the home, then dog training works backwards first before training, training, can begin to move forward. Unravelling months of errors takes some time but not too much time as long as my clients are willing to put in the effort.


Dog gear plays a role when striving to achieve correct results when dog training.


Method of training has an impact on the outcome of the duration of training a dog. When my clients participate and commit to the training, the homework and the exercises, the majority of my clients will have their dog trained to sit, stop, stay, wait, leash drag or be off leash, not pulling or jumping up, and much more, all in 7 weeks or 14 classes. The dog will be bonded to the owner and absolutely no food is required to be used in class or during any of the training. Therefore, you will not have a dog begging for food at a later date or be searching for food. Touch is the praise your dog will want from you and an unbreakable trust will begin forming and only grow stronger over time.


Proper gear to train your dog is a huge factor when seeking positive results training your dog. Using a harness to correct a dog not to pull is instant failure. Harnesses are designed to teach dogs to pull and encourage a dog to pull. Even despite the so-called marketing about no-pull harness. There is no such thing. Marketed to outsmart the consumer with slick words. A harness is a harness, is a harness. Harness are designed for sled dogs to PULL.


I’m not a fan of Prong collars or Pinch collars. I am a fan of put in proper dog training effort with the right knowledge and you will never need to use this gimmick.

Choke chains only work to one side because they are limited in how they work. If sized to the right it will not release when the dog moves over to left side of you.

Gentle leaders and other weird gimmicks that fit on your dog’s face are, again, in my experience, useless and do not create a bonding, loving experience between you and your dog.


Best Dog Training Collar


MARTINGALE collar is hands down the ultimate superior collar. In my opinion it is the best dog training collar. It will not slip off your dog’s neck, releases tension quickly regardless of where the dog is positioned walking with you. Has immediate communication to the dog, dogs love wearing them. And they work with the dog and work with you. RC Pets products, specifically their training collars, are incredibly well made, the martingale collar made by RC Pets is excellent quality and craftsmanship. Many other martingale collars on the market are cheaply made and simply put are ugly. Your dog deserves something made with excellent quality and fashionable good sense.


Your commitment, effort, consistency & patience are key to training your dog.


Back to the main question of, how long does it take to train a dog? Dogs don’t stop learning. They have the capacity to learn every day. Depending what you need and want from your dog depends on your commitment. You chose the dog, the dog did not choose you, so you are responsible to invest the time needed. Dogs do not come with a manual like a car does. You do need the right dog trainer and you are here reading this, so you have found the right trainer for you and your dog. Dog training is difficult at times. Effort, consistency and patience is key to reach the success you want for your dog. You also need support from your trainer, which I offer to my clients.


The secret to a lifelong well-training dog? Mental stimulation to keep your dog's brain healthy & happy.


Here is something you do need to know. You have two years of dog training ahead of yourself if you want an exceptionally well-trained dog. You have a good year of investing time into your dog if you want a very well-behaved dog or canine good citizen. The secret to a lifelong well-trained dog is, never stop training and stimulating your dog’s brain. Mental stimulation is needed to keep your dog’s brain happy and healthy.


Your dog wants to learn and be good. There will be challenges.


If you are looking for a dog trainer, reach out to me here and I will help you get on the right track. At times you will get frustrated and that’s okay. Push through the tough challenges and celebrate the tougher days. Your dog wants to learn, your dog wants to be good. It is our responsibility to do the right thing. Your dog’s life will depend on your commitment and self-motivation to give your dog the right education.



Written by Brad Pattison, Dog Behaviourist, Vancouver Dog Trainer & Puppy Trainer

Follow us on socials, IG: @hustleupdogs & Facebook: Hustle Up Dog Training

Email us anytime with questions & comments at info@hustleupdogtraining.ca

For further information call CA +1 (250) 317-0274

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