Trainer reveals the hardest part of training a dog, and it really surprised us!

Woman training dog inside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Training dogs isn’t always easy, and there are things that you might struggle with – even if you’re a seasoned dog parent with many years of experience under your belt. 

However, dog training isn’t actually as complicated as you might think, particularly when you’ve got some of the best dog treats to hand. And, according to Ruben Montes, owner and dog trainer at Kindred Dog PDX, the most difficult aspect of training is one you might not guess. Actually, the hardest part of dog training is our own self-discipline and patience, as he explains in a recent Instagram post.  

Montes describes dog training as generally “pretty easy,” and sometimes even boring, as all you and your pup are doing is repeating the same thing. However, he continues, “The hardest part is our own self-discipline and patience. Changing our behavior is the hard part. We humans can be stubborn.”

He goes on, “What makes it even harder is when you don’t know what to do. Having a path can help keep us accountable because we have a better idea of what to do.”

It’s important to remember that dog training won’t always go entirely smoothly. Your dog might be tired, or there might be some distractions to contend with. And that’s why patience is so important. If you get frustrated or annoyed when training your pup – even if it is totally natural – it can be detrimental to the training process. Take younger dogs, for example. Puppy behavior can be testing at times, but staying calm and patient will help!

One thing you may want to try to help with your own self-discipline and confidence is to set time limits. If you know that you’ve only got a set amount of time left in the training session, you know right from the outset that you’re able to take a break. If you can feel yourself getting frustrated or worked up about something not going totally to plan, even just knowing that you can take a breather in a minute or two can help. 

No matter what, training should be fun for your pup – even if you’re not having much fun yourself! The science behind positive reinforcement for dogs shows that it’s the best way to train a dog, and mastering self-discipline and patience will help you deliver training sessions in a manner that your canine best responds to. 

It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so don’t expect to work miracles within just a few training sessions, and remember that persevering in the short term will really pay off for the rest of the time you have with your pup!

American Journey Peanut Butter Recipe Grain-Free Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats 
$4.19 at Chewy

American Journey Peanut Butter Recipe Grain-Free Oven Baked Crunchy Biscuit Dog Treats
$4.19 at Chewy
These grain-free, crunchy snacks are sure to please your pup. Small in size and packed full of flavour, they're made with wholesome ingredients that will keep your dog motivated and energized. 

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.