Ann, i think the multiple short trips are a great idea. The reps will help set the training. I've done this for years when training.
To answer your question... Yes. I call "Taking a day off with your dog" a "Mental Health Day"!!! It is just as important for your dog as it is for you. I recently wrote an article about it on my blog. Here is a link if you are interested. (http://iowadogtrust.wordpress.com/20...with-your-dog/