Is it time to step back and take stock of your training?
On a typical training day, I head out of my house to my training area with whatever dog I want to train. I have a pretty good idea what I’m going to work on before I walk out the door, but mostly my plan is to build on whatever I did the day before, and hopefully, over time, that plan will take me a little bit further than the week before…
And then every once in a while I either run into a problem or I realize that I really haven’t taken stock in a long time.
When I say “take stock”, I mean put the dog away, step back and take a hard look at the various elements of your training.
It’s important to do this because sometimes we’re a lot like frogs dropped into a pot of cool water that slowly comes to a boil; we didn’t jump out of the pot because…we weren’t paying attention! We didn’t realize that things weren’t going quite right. Maybe the problematic changes were very small or incremental. Maybe we focused so much on teaching a particular skill that we hadn’t even noticed that our dog had lost motivation. Maybe we didn’t see that the problem we’d been battling for weeks or months was really the symptom of a bigger problem and not what we had focused on at all.
Is it time to stop and take stock? Have you really stopped to think about your entire training plan?
How is your dog’s motivation? How are your dog’s skills? Are you doing a nice job of breaking training down into small bits that your dog can digest easily? Is your dog opting into training willingly? Is your dog physically and mentally thriving? Is it obvious to your dog how their work affects what rewards will happen and when they will appear? Have you realistically assessed your dog as an individual, and stayed within their abilities over time? Do you feel good about your trial preparation plans so that either now or in the future, you can be successful in competition?
There’s no time like the present, so why not stop and think about these things?
If you’d like a systematic way to take stock of your dog’s current state of training or if you know that something is broken in your work but you’re not sure how to diagnose the root problem so that you can start working to fix it, join me for a webinar on this topic on Thursday, October 26, at 6 PM Pacific time. There will be time at the end for questions.
Here are the details:
Denise Fenzi – Problems to Polishing: Evaluating your Progress
Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017
Time: 6-7pm Pacific Time (you don’t have to attend “live”)
Fee: $19.95 – Registration required PRIOR to scheduled presentation time.
Description: In this webinar, Denise will consider what it takes to develop, maintain or rehabilitate your performance dog. What factors do you need to consider when you’re not progressing quite as you’d like, but you’re not sure where the challenge lies? By occasionally evaluating one’s training by comparing what we have against a set of standards that remain constant, handlers can find their weak spots and work to improve, making training more fun and effective for both the dog and the handler.
And if you’re already struggling with your training? Think you’ll never get your dog ready for competition? That’s okay too! This webinar will also provide a framework for identifying where the challenge may lie and give you a starting point for getting back on track.
Suitable for all sports.
Note: A recorded version will be made available in your webinar library 24-48 hours after the presentation.