SUMMARY: For dogs, once a week may be better than 5 times a week.
Interesting! From a 2007 study:
"Using shaping and clicker training, 18 laboratory Beagles were trained to perform a target response. Nine dogs were trained once a week and nine dogs were trained five times a week. The results of the study show that dogs trained once a week learned the shaping exercise in significantly fewer training sessions than dogs trained five times a week. In addition, weekly trained dogs tended to have higher success rates at the different steps of the shaping exercise than the dogs trained five times a week. The dogs trained five times a week completed the shaping exercise in significantly fewer days than the weekly trained dogs. It is concluded that for dogs learning a given skill, weekly training results in better learning performance than training five times a week, when performance is measured in the number of training sessions required to reach a certain training level."
(c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Meyer, I., Ladewig, J., The relationship between number of training sessions per week and learning in dogs, Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. (2007), doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2007.06.016
(Thanks, Wishy the Writer, for this info.)
Makes a bit of sense to me. When training one's muscles, you don't use the same muscle group every day; you work hard one day on one thing, then give it at least a day or two of rest while working on a different set of muscles. Apparently this translates to mental "muscle," too!
Remington always did better with only one or two training sessions a week, no matter how long or how intense. My other dogs love doing stuff as often as I want to do it, but it does seem sometimes that progress doesn't necessarily occur daily, but in leaps after several days of stasis.
Anyway, worth pondering!