Review – why is it important in dog training, and how to do it BuJo-style!

Review – why is it important in dog training, and how to do it BuJo-style!

I currently work on my and Midoris DogParkour-skills, and we are getting a lot of progress. Part of this is because she is well trained in the “basics” to begin with, she knows the “rules” of training, she has a good awareness of her body and paws, and she loves to train. But part of it is actually me: my ability to use that big frontal lobe of mine and figure out how to break the exercise down into small pieces to make her understand what I want her to do. I’m good at making training plans, and I’m good at knowing when to stick with the plan and when to alter it.

Part of this is because she is well trained in the “basics” to begin with, she knows the “rules” of training (listen for the marker, repeat, develop), she has a good awareness of her body and paws, and she loves to train.

But part of it is actually me: my ability to use that big frontal lobe of mine and figure out how to break the exercise down into small pieces to make her understand what I want her to do. Of course, that has some to do with experience – I know her pretty well after four years of daily training – but this week I have trained two dogs that I don’t know as well and it’s also been very successful. And yes, I’m an OK dog trainer who knows how behaviour works, but that’s not all. It’s much simpler: I’m good at making training plans, and I’m good at knowing when to stick with the plan and when to alter it. How? Because I’m good at the review!

Let me walk you through the process:

  1. I want to train something new: I set my goal.
  2. What does it look like? What is the dog supposed to do with her body? I am very concrete and precise. That makes the next step so much easier.
  3. I make a plan. I start with where we are now, end with the goal behaviour, and I break the road from here to there down into as many small steps as I can.
  4. I write this down, with checkboxes, to always know where we are at. And I leave space for even more steps (sometimes that space is just in my head, but it’s there). This is my training plan, part of my “roadmap”. I can put in trackers to measure how many times we train every week, how many sessions a specific step needs, or my success rate during a session (out of ten tries I want her to do about 8 correct and 2 incorrect if it’s not the end behaviour). Or I can write notes after each session, telling me how it went and what to think about. Or both.
  5. I review. Most of the time briefly before every session, but every week at least! Do I follow my plan? What boxes can be checked? Do I need more steps somewhere? Do I need a new plan entirely?

Think. Plan. Create. Repeat. The key to success!

Today I reviewed my Dog Parkour spread (not really a training plan, but a still a roadmap), and it now looks like this:

It’s very satisfying to see how we are getting better, and I’m getting closer to my goal! Plus: I always know the next step.

So…that is my advice for today. Make a plan. Write it down. Work on it. Make sure you work on it by reviewing it as often as you need to. And if you get stuck – change it.

These are the two other dogs I have been working with, by the way:

And if you want to see some Creative Kelpie moves, look here at some of our films for Level B:

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.