I’m a pretty big fan of videotaping a portion of your training sessions so that you can use those tapes to help improve your training.
Here’s the first half of a training session for Brito; it’s about six minutes long:
First 1:05 I’m happy with his directed jumping – he appears comfortable with a send out of about 15 feet and he takes his directions consistently.
1:06 – He confuses my request for a glove retrieve with a foot target. We work through it lightly but I need to revisit that issue.
2:10 Worked on a new type of leather articles and he makes no errors.
3:10 retrieve over high jump – returns around the jump when the dumbbell lands off center.
4:20 – a one minute stretch of formal heeling. He’s forging on left turns and some halts; also forging on the inside corner of the figure eight.
Obviously I could have stopped work and addressed the issues as they came up, but that wasn’t what I wanted to do for this session. I just wanted to work on a variety of exercises and have some relaxed fun. “Flow” training. See what we have.
After watching the tape, I see that I need to make a plan to address the three issues that emerged in the above session: 1. retrieve vs. target 2. return around the high jump and 3. forging in heeling.
My next blog will address one of the issues.
In real life, I rarely sit down and “make a plan.” I’ve been training long enough that I normally have a good idea of how to approach a challenge with any given dog. But if you are a more novice trainer, you might want to get in the habit of ignoring problems when they happen and just move on. Evaluate your options later on when you have a little time to think it through.
If you have an opinion about which issue I discuss from the above three options, let me know in the comments! I’ll pick one for my next training blog, based on your responses.