How Many Training Sessions Does It Take to Train a Dog?

November 19, 2023

Training a dog can be an exciting and rewarding experience, fostering a strong bond between the owner and their dog. However, the question of how many training sessions does it take to properly train a dog is not one with a definitive answer. The duration and effectiveness of dog training can vary significantly depending on several key factors.

How many lessons does it take to train a dog

Below we listed five factors that will determine how many training sessions it takes to train a dog.

Breed and Temperament

It is true that some breeds are naturally more receptive to training than others. Last month we shared information on the Tibetan Mastiff and learned that training this breed can be a challenging experience. Rather of generalizing the difficulty of training by an entire breed, it’s crucial to consider the unique personality of each dog. The temperament and individual personality influences the difficulty of training. While some dogs might grasp commands quicker, others may need more time and patience to learn.

Consistency and Persistence

Consistency is key in dog training. Regular, structured sessions contribute to better learning outcomes. Dogs often require repetition to grasp commands and behaviors, therefore, persistence in the training process is essential.

Prior Experience and Socialization Dogs

Dogs that have received some training or socialization earlier in life might grasp new instructions quicker. Rescue dogs or those with limited exposure to training might need extra time to adapt to the process.

Complexity of Commands

Basic commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stay,’ and ‘come’ can be taught relatively easily, whereas more complex lessons, such as place, heel, sit-stay in public, impulse control work and outdoor recall around distractions may demand a more extended period of focused training.

Trainer’s Skill and Approach

A skilled and patient trainer can significantly impact the speed at which a dog learns. A nurturing training environment fosters trust and understanding, accelerating the training process. In our blog post, Patience in Dog Training, outlines the importance of having patience for dogs, their owners and ourselves.

how many lessons does it take to train a dog

In light of these factors, it is challenging to provide a specific number of sessions required for dog training. However, on average, basic obedience training can take anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks, with daily training sessions. Advanced training or specific behavioral corrections will extend the duration further.

Remember, the goal of dog training is not to rush the process but to build a strong, positive relationship between the owner and the dog. Patience, consistency, and a deep understanding of the dog’s needs are paramount in achieving successful training outcomes.

Written by Jessica Freedman

If you are considering a  career in dog training, ISCDT offers an online program featuring 18 hands-on lessons where students are required to work with dogs. Skill and ability is determined through a series of videos and short written homework that is submitted to your personal ISCDT mentor. ISCDT also offers a one or two-week in-person Shadow program. These programs allow students to assist trainers working in the field.  To learn more about the courses we offer, visit

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