Mastering Dog Training: The Importance of Speed and Patience

Speed is one of the most important tools in training, and most people are just not fast enough. Are you communicating well enough at the microlevel? We’re going to find out Ian here with Simpawtico Dog Training, and before we get into training speed

“He goes on to explain that speed is for the short term and patience is for the long term, and the pressure between those two is what creates the diamond. Gary Vee was talking about business in that statement, but it is an amazingly appropriate model for how we should be working with our dogs. Speed in the here and now is vitally important.

Why Speed and Patience are EVERYTHING With Your Dog Training Techniques!

We’re talking about seconds—actually, I want you to think in terms of microseconds because I want you to try to be as fast as you can. Dogs live mainly in the vertical dimension of time. It’s very likely that their lives take on a greater intensity than ours because they’re not worried about yesterday or tomorrow. They are where they are as fully as possible, which is honestly something we humans should be better at. For us, that means that speed is vitally important in our feedback and training. I don’t mean how quickly we move; I mean how quickly we provide feedback on the things we like and don’t like and how quickly we switch between the two without unnecessary drag One of my favorite business coaches, Gary Vaynerchuk, has said, “Micro speed, macro patience.

Your feedback has to be fast, and it has to be binary. You’re probably already good at telling your dog when you don’t like something, but you have to be fast, maybe even faster, when you cut the other way. When you get what you want or even just bad behavior stops, you have to turn on a dime instantly and let them know. Patience for the long term is important too. Your fast feedback is what keeps moving things forward, but it takes time to make those bigger, long-term changes. You want your dog to stop jumping on guests? Well, that doesn’t happen overnight. You want your dog to stop pulling on walks? That’s not a weekend project.

You need to be willing to hang out and keep hustling with your dog over days, weeks, months, and, in some cases, years. Good work with your dog is about consistent execution over time, and that involves speed in the short term with your feedback and patience in the long term with gradual improvements by giving that fast feedback continually over time. Now that might sound kind of intricate, so here are some real-world examples of what I’m talking about. Internet advice for jumping discusses turning your back, ignoring your dog, and stepping away quickly. They advise saying “off” or even physically moving the paws off of you. These strategies aren’t necessarily wrong, but people get mixed results with them because they’re only half of the equation.

The instant your dog’s feet hit the ground, you have to say something, and you have to give them the attention they were seeking. That’s the function of jumping in the first place. It’s all about speed in the short term with how you give feedback on what you like and patience in the long term as they gravitate towards those better manners. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve watched people do all the things: turning, saying “off,” stepping back, moving the paws, even that ridiculous knee in the chest crap, and then their dog stops jumping, and then they just ignore the dog. So, you’re a lot more interesting, and you give them a lot more attention when they’re being bad. You’ve got to flip that feedback loop completely over. The importance of speed of feedback in potty training cannot be overstated. When you have your dog outside and they do their business, your praise needs to happen the millisecond they start doing it.

It continues as they go like cheerleaders, and there’s a party with lavish rewards at the end. If you’re standing at the back door and treating them when they come in, they’ll think they’re being rewarded for coming in, not for going potty. You missed your window, and now coming in is better than going potty outside. You need to be out there and reward them immediately on-site for them to link it up properly. This is also why you don’t reprimand a dog when you come across an accident in the house if you didn’t see them do it. It’s too late to say anything about it; they have no idea why you’re so upset.

Just clean it up, move on, and reprimand yourself for not paying attention. We put out a puppy biting video last year on how to work through this problem, and in that video, we talked about giving good feedback when your puppies use a softer mouth. The speed of feedback is pivotal here. Yes, we cry out when the puppy bites us, but we also immediately tell them what a good puppy they are when they try again and do better with a softer mouth. Patience in the long term is generally tested here, and I get people commenting all of the time saying, “Well, I tried it and it didn’t work. Any tips?” Yeah, do it more! We’ll link to our puppy-biting video below if you haven’t seen it yet. Again, the internet is rife with ideas on how to solve this problem. The big one you see a lot is to stop when your dog is pulling and then start again when they’re calm.

As before, this is not wrong, but this advice doesn’t convey how fast that procedure should be, and it doesn’t put proper emphasis on how ongoing praise for a loose leash is important. The whole process of stopping, waiting, and going again shouldn’t take more than, like, two to five seconds. Most of you are standing around too long, taking too long to reward, and starting back into it too late.

If you’ve watched our marker training video or are familiar with marker training, this allows you to establish precise communication with the speed of a lightning strike. If you haven’t, check out our video on it and I’ll link to it in the description below. In that marker training video, we talked about how a marker acts as a bridging stimulus that extends the amount of time you have available to deliver a reward for the behavior you want. That said, you don’t have unlimited time, and most of you are fumbling around with your food rewards and taking too long to get them. I have lots of students that come to class with their treats in tight jeans pockets or ziplock baggies, and then they fiddle around getting their food out, and by the time they have the food, the dog’s already tuned out and is moving on to something else.

These folks then have to call the dog back into attention to give them the reward, but it’s too late the reward won’t be linked to the thing you wanted. It will be linked to whatever they were doing when you finally give it to them. So my advice is to stop messing around. Mark that behavior the instant your dog does it, then use large pockets or bait bags that you can reach into and access a food reward quickly and easily. Practice your food handling so you can grab, control, and deliver efficiently. Take a look at our Power Tip Two video for more information on how to handle food. In general, there are a zillion teachable moments throughout the day just moving about the house with your dog.

If you’re on the lookout, you can praise and give feedback on a hundred good things a day. Not everything, of course, requires a full-on reward event like you do during practice, but sometimes all you have to do is say “Good dog!” and a little scratch behind the ear to tell them that they did good, or even not bad! You add that up, and you could give a hundred samples of information in a day on what good behavior looks like. I mean, think about it: how much good behavior are you just taking for granted? This is a prime example of speed and patience: fast feedback when you get something you like, and that adds up over time to evergreen good behavior. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients who come in with a problem, and they’re looking for a solution that reads 1234 like a recipe.

Honestly, in most cases, the core problem is the lack of speed and consistency of feedback. Their dog does something bad, they bitch about it, then the dog does something good, and nobody says a word! That’s a ton of missed opportunities! I have said a lot all over Simpawtico stuff that you change a dog’s behavior by focusing on what they do right more than what they do wrong. However, for that to work, it has to be instantaneous, and it has to happen consistently over time. On a side note, shifting your focus like this has the added benefit of changing your whole outlook on your dog. If you feel like you’ve got the most stubborn or dumbest dog on the block, changing what you’re looking for will greatly improve things for both of you.

Are you focusing too much on all the things they do wrong? I mean, I’ve seen a lot of “stubborn dogs” that really just had owners that were not communicating very well and had very little patience. Honestly, a lot of relationships could probably benefit from a similar positive outlook. So here’s your homework, guys: Challenge yourself to get faster with your good feedback. Look for things to praise and reward, and try to be as close to instantaneous as possible. This requires you to pay attention and shift your focus, but you can do it—that’s why you’re here! Keep your eyes peeled so you can pinpoint the good stuff when it happens.

And look: sometimes the bar isn’t necessarily “good behavior,” sometimes “not bad” is good enough. Like we talked about, jumping stops? BIP! Say something. Puppy pees outside? BOOM! Say something A dog looks over their shoulder at you instead of barking at that dog across the street. POW! Say something! OK, let us know in the comments how your speed is improving, how your patience is improving, and what things you’ve noticed as you work both with your dog and yourself.

Good job the key to this technique is repetition As you start to work like this, your dog will focus less on the luring hand and more on the reward hand once you start to notice this shift in your dog’s attention, it’s time to remove the lure all together Now start signaling with an empty hand Okay, ready down, yes, good girl, Down, yes, good girl This is an important phase in the learning process for your dog They need to understand that they don’t have to eat seafood in order to get rewarded If you guarantee or promise food before anything happens, you’re creating dependency. However, if you can teach your dog that their behavior makes awesome things appear, you’ve

created a completely different paradigm down good good girl yes good good excuse you yes good girl down good girl good girl yes excellent good job honey down good stay rewards are fine bribes are not when you’re using lures in the early stages to help jump start behaviors it’s easy to fall into the trap of using that lure too long and then it becomes a bribe also in order for this to be successful you need to be pretty quick on the draw


Consequentially, this will help you develop your speed and timing while you work. You’ll have to mark the behavior the millisecond you get what you want and pop the reward in there quickly Remember, repetition is the pivot point for this Most people fall short in their training in general because they just don’t do the requisite amount of reps if you’re stuck in this dead end, you’ll have to do the reps to turn it around Fortunately, if you’re diligent, you can usually bounce back in a day, or so you just got a drum on it.

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