In training there’s a phrase “putting time on your dog,” which means working your dog around a particular discipline for a period of time. It’s not rocket science that consistency and time-on-task are key elements of any training routine. Of course, many short sessions are better than one long one, unless your training exercise is an advanced one geared to address a training challenge over an extended period of time.
Anyway, this concept of “putting time on your dog” is a way to think about what you actually do in “spending time with your dog.” Being with your dog is the foundation of your relationship, from which everything else flows. And when you spend this time together, you are in fact putting time on your dog in honoring the most fundamental part of the human/canine relationship. My point as a training tip is to link the two concepts in your mind, as the dog’s essential role and source of fulfillment is in spending time with you constructively, that is, by serving you. So how can we be more deliberate in asking and allowing our dog to serve us? Think about putting time on your dog in various ways as you go about your daily life. This can be as simple as having him lie at your feet while you watch TV, or taking him with you in the car to go to the store. Of course there may be behavior issues that need training or correction in any of this, but the mindset should be focused on the positive, i.e., developing the ideal relationship with your dog, not on the negative.