Every year when January hits, the new year gets us all jazzed up. Most people ideate about how the new year should be but only a few turn it into reality. Unfortunately I have been letting all these years slip away. Starting this year I wanted to be more mindful.
Why A Monthly Review?
I’ve been training dogs for more than two years. Whoo hoo! All these time I was too focussed on my dog’s micro behaviours — teaching my dog to SIT, DOWN, BARK, etc.
Only recently I understood the magnificence of building a working relationship with my dogs. I also realized that without a plan, I’m heading no where in my training. This was an aha moment in my dog training journey.
Starting this January I shall be setting a goal or two for each of my dogs and shall be reviewing our progress at the end of the month.
The Focus For January
Max: Teaching Max to retrieve.
Laika: Unfortunately I couldn’t focus on Laika much.
What Went Well?
The retrieving behaviour in its entirety isn’t great yet. However I was able to identify where we are slipping.
The retrieve behaviour consists of three micro behaviours — creating interest in an object, holding the object and retrieving the object. I was trying to tackle all at once which didn’t take us anywhere.
Recording, re-watching our training sessions and being part of a great community helped us to split the behaviour in to the following
- tug — build the tug drive
- hold — duration / distraction
- bring to hand
Now that I figured the pieces of the puzzle, I shall be working on these one at a time.
Goals for February
With Max, I want to build the drive for tugging and work on bringing objects to hand.
With Laika, I want to desensitize her to the sound of crackers and bus honks.
Today, I’m grateful because training my dogs paved way for me to meet wonderful people around the world.