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A little bit overwhelmed…

A little bit overwhelmed…

About a month ago I had an idea about a Dog Training Planner Pack, that would be really easy to use. Preprinted planning templates to put on the refrigerator (or wherever you see them), a small notebook to bring to training, a few good pens, some stickers for fun, and a binder to keep everything in one place.

So. What do you do when you get an idea? I just went with it…

I got an online store and spent a few days learning how it works.

I got a partner to buy necessary items from (luckily I have good credibility as a business, so they partnered with me even though I’m like really really small).

I invested, got the goods, and tested it. 

I took pictures and made a film.

And I posted the four finished packs in my FB-group, at an introduction price, to get some feedback.

It soon turned out that four was NOT enough! In 30 minutes I even sold my backup pack!

Some phone calls later, I got my hands on additional three and a half pack (the half pack only holds one notebook instead of two). Unfortunately not at the same super low cost, so I had to raise the price a little. I offered them to people who had shown interest, and boom – two more gone.

At this moment I have one full pack, and one pack missing one notebook left. This is what you get:

Monday, I get to ship the seven packs I made yesterday, to seven happy owners. It feels A-MA-ZING. It’s not the money (there will be none left, shipping is more expensive than I thought! I will get back what I put in, no more). It’s the fact that I had the courage to follow up on an idea, and it worked! HAPPYDANCE!

For now, my shop is out of stock on a lot of items. But there are some left, and I will order again on Monday – there will be new products at the end of the week. 

Do you want one of the two remaining packs? The complete one is in my shop right now: http://www.thecreativekelpie.com/product/planeringspaket-for-hundtraning-bas/

The second one is priced to 269:-, as it’s a notebook short (and shipping, 100:-). Contact me if you want that one – hello@thecreativekelpie.com.

Today I celebrate!

 

 

My “bring with me”-notebook

My “bring with me”-notebook

My BuJo is not as big as it could be, I keep it rather slim. But it’s still too big to bring when I go training – I’ve felt the need for a smaller and slimmer notebook for a while. To plan and take notes “on the go”, and then bring it into my bigger BuJo when I get home. That also takes away the pressure of doing things pretty – I’ll sort through it and rewrite it anyway.

I also need a notebook to bring with me when I give classes, to keep my planning in. You know, as I tend to get lost in the moment I need my notes to stay on track and teach what I’m supposed to be teaching, not what seems most interesting at the moment.

The one I settled for is a Moleskine cahier. I chose a large, as I need a little space, but in retrospect maybe a smaller one would work. I like the craftsmanship, the feel of it, and the sleek design.

I started by making it feel like mine, using a Tombow monotwin that looks perfect on the rough cover:

The paper is 70 g ivory, 5 mm dot grid. It feels smooth, and the pages are quite thin to make the notebook really slim. That means I have to be extra careful what pens I use, as I get some ghosting and even bleeding from the wrong pens.

So far, I’ve used Zig drawing pen 0,1 for all the writing – works like a charm with no ghosting. Zig clean color ghosts a little but doesn’t bleed (and I love, love, love the colors and the brush nibs!). As a highlighter, I’ve tried Staedtler textsurfer classic – they ghost a little but no bleeding.

This concept works well, as I can put it in my pocket it travels with me where I want to go. I know, I could bring my pink BuJo covered in stickers with me in my bag – but somehow I just don’t. 

It’s also an advantage for me to read my notes again and rewrite the important stuff, it helps my brain remember and work with my next training plan. I need some repetitions to actually get things…

I actually liked this idea so much, I decided to sell the items. You find them in my shop (sorry, I only ship to Sweden at the moment). Take a look!

 

The bucket game

The bucket game

Even though I try to make the life of my dogs as pleasant as possible, there is one area that I could improve: nail trimming. They cooperate, I can trim their nails without problems, but they really, really, really donΒ΄t like it. They put up with it because I make them. Gently but firmly. With treats and praise, but still…they would choose not to participate if they could.

Am I happy with that? I was once. I’m not any longer. I’d like to think that I learn more and become a better dog trainer as the years go by, and now I see all around me new ways to train the dog (or any animal) to freely participate in and have control over “not so pleasant” procedures that need to be done. As the animals get a voice, the right to say “no” and to be listened to, things like nail trimming, ear cleaning, taking blood samples, vaccinations, and so on, become less stressful and the animal freely participates. It chooses to do so to get a reward. It’s in control.

Yes, I know this has been going on for a while. Sometimes my mind is sloooow on the uptake…But better late than never, right?

For those of you who have only a vague idea of what I’m talking about, here’s an explanation of what I want to train:

1. The Bucket Game

As explained by amazing Chirag Patel: https://www.animaltrainingacademy.com/podcast/training-tidbits/chirag-patel/

2. Start button behaviors

The podcast Drinking from the toilet is always worth listening to, here with two of my friends: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/hannah-branigan/drinking-from-the-toilet/e/51441310

And if you have no patience, here’s the quick version:

Bucket game (my version, not exactly as described by Chirag)

  1. Teach a trick, like “put paw on hand” (or look at a bucket of treats)
  2. Add duration.
  3. Add distractions.
  4. Add touching paw, nails, pull on nails.
  5. Add do the same with a pen.
  6. Add do the same with nail clippers.
  7. Trim one nail.
  8. And so on.

The important thing is: she is free to remove her paw at any time, and that makes me stop. She is in control. If she doesn’t put her paw on my hand at all – we don’t play. Again – she gets to say when, and she gets to say “no”. It’s up to me to do this in small steps and make it rewarding.

Start button (again, my version)

  1. I show clippers – she looks at clippers – click – she gets a treat. We get a rhythm going.
  2. I interrupt the rhythm. She does something – anything. Clippers come out – click – treat. The behavior she chooses is her start button behavior. When she does that she tells me she is ready for the clippers.
  3. We build a chain. I put a treat on the floor. She looks at me > I put out my hand. She gives her paw > I pick up the clippers. Her paw stays put > I continue. She removes her paw > I stop.
  4. We build new chains for different procedures. Lift back paws, put head on chair (ear cleaning), put top of nose in my hand (check and brush teeth). And so on.

My spread looks like this:

We’ve come a bit further than this, I’ve started to pull on her nails a bit.

The training looks a bit like this, so far:

It’s really interesting to work with! For both of us, I think. I’ll keep you updated on our progress.

Reload

Reload

Today is a day with nothing planned. A day to reload my batteries, to restore my sanity. What do I do? Well…

I started my day with my camera and some slow photographing. A toy lens with manual focus only, to make me concentrate on color, shape, and composition. Some playing around in post-processing as I listened to the latest episode of “creepypodden”, a podcast with creepypasta. Relaxation. To take photos purely for the fun of it, and not for a client, is very relaxing to me.

Do you like it? It actually doesn’t matter, this is for me.

As an introvert, I need my alone time. My space. I like being around people, but it makes me exhausted from time to time.

So today I may – or may not – work on my new designs for my shop. I may – or may not – photograph new products. I may – or may not – watch “Sleepy Hollow” all day, and eat everything I can find in my fridge. Today, everything gets put on hold for one day.

Tomorrow I’ll be back. Fully charged and ready to go.

Think outside of the bowl!

Think outside of the bowl!

To make your dog’s life a little more interesting – why serve the food in a bowl? You can easily take a portion of the food and serve it in some more interesting ways! This stimulates your dog in a good way, and it gets to use its natural behaviors. This is nothing new, and most dog owners do this from time to time. But…imagination can run a bit short.

The idea to collect as many ways to serve dog food as possible came from one of the members of an FB-group I admin. All I’ve done is put all the great tips she got together, in a way that would work for me and my dogs! And I added the possibility to grade how much my dogs liked it (my guess is that they will think very differently about this!).

As I don’t want my dogs to have to work for everything (some things in life really should be free), my goal is to do this for one dog at a time, at every meal. As I have three dogs, that would ensure that two out of three meals are “just eat it”, and it also gives me the possibility to move the one dog from the rest of the dogs and let her/him work for the food in peace. Especially with my eldest I also have to watch carefully: does she enjoy this, or am I just being a pain in her behind? She already thinks eating is over-rated, so this project can either increase or decrease her appetite.

I’ll get back to you when this is all filled out, and share what I’ve learned!

 

 

 

Tuesday training

Tuesday training

I try to blog twice a week – Tuesday and Friday (well, give or take a day). Fridays will be kept “holy” for dog training planning, but Tuesday will be open for anything!

And today, “anything” is my new training BuJo. 

“Why a new planner, don’t you like your Filofax anymore?” I hear you ask. And I LOOOVE my Filofax! But. I soon found out that I want to keep all of my old plans and spreads, to be able to compare and use ideas again. And the poor Filofax got a bit…well, fat, actually. So this is the solution!

And what does it look like on the inside? Let’s see!

I took all my favorite spreads from my Filofax and redid them, just a little bit better. My measures every week, ad a quote to remind me to compare only with myself.

My weight journey, with reward stops.

I did a step tracker! I proudly stole the idea from Youtube. This is how far it is from Bag End to Lonely Mountain – the journey from Tolkiens “The Hobbit” that I read for the first time when I was eight and have loved ever since. Of course, someone did the math: they walked 1560 km. One square equals 7000 steps, and I count my steps as one meter (they’re actually more close to 1.20, but it was easier to count that way…) How long will the journey take me?

The September trackers. I really like them, and kept them as they were.

And the weekly. A simple one this time.

And there you have it – my self-care is back on track!

Oh, and another thing. You’ve noticed my new shop right here on this site, right? I put in two freebies for you, one in English and one in Swedish. Enjoy!

It’s growing!

It’s growing!

Recently I’ve seen a lot of new sign-ups for my little e-course on how to get started with Bujo for dog trainers. I’m delighted! That means that a new crowd of dog people has found their way into the interesting world of bullet journaling. WELCOME, EVERYONE! I hope you find something useful in the course, or here on my blog.

For me, bullet journaling has actually changed the way I live. It has freed space in my brain and boosted my ideas – and helped me organize the steps to get from “here” to “there”. I am calmer, more creative, and get more things done.

Right now, my mind is set on (among other things) renewing this website a bit. Hopefully, make it more interesting. A place to find inspiration as well as useful things that help your brain too. If you want to help me by giving some feedback or make a wish I would really appreciate it – send me an email

Spread for next week. Cute dog stickers from the Etsy-shop “a planner piece”.

 

 

Plan your dog training with a “projects”-page

Plan your dog training with a “projects”-page

For a few months now, I’ve tested my idea of a “master project page” in my work-life as well as my dog training. It works GREAT! I get the overview that I need, and it’s easy to see what needs to be done. Let me give you a walk-through:

And if you prefer to see the pages one by one, here goes.

This is the “master page”. At the moment we are working on recalls in the forest (obviously NOT the same as recalls in the fields says Midori), I planned a trick show that we had last Saturday (needs another star), I want to work on the bucket game and we did the Snoot Challenge (and we got featured!). Every project gets a page. As this is a Filofax, I can easily put in more pages if I need to, and the first page will be the “cover page” for that project.

The recalls are getting better day by day! For this page, I chose a simple layout where I just listed my criteria. It’s easier for her to work when it’s just her and me, so the last gold star is when it works with the whole pack (my other two dogs are on leashes – one of them is totally deaf and wanders off, and the other one hunts).

The trick show was a lot of fun and nothing serious at all – we represented our dog club at a big store and showed a few easy tricks to keep the crowd interested. For this page I made a “to do”-list, listed the different tricks she knows very well, and then I wanted to make an evaluation of the training after.

We’ve just started on the bucket game. She knows how to look at the treat, and I’ve started touching her. This – I hope – will end up in nail trimming on her terms and not my terms. I will also add a “start button behavior”.

And the snoot challenge is done! It looks like this:

Vacation is over – goodbye summer, welcome fall!

Vacation is over – goodbye summer, welcome fall!

I’ve been fully back at work for three days, and I feel that this fall is going to be so much fun! I have a lot of projects and new collaborations cooking πŸ™‚

But first: let’s have a look at what happens in my journal as August leaves her place for September:

I’m changing my social media tracker, to be able to see what part of my business is more busy and when. I’m not sure this will do the trick, but it’s worth a try.
A new memories-page, to highlight what’s been going on in my life. I really like the overview of september so far! Easy to get a quick look at when I’m free and what needs to be done.
These are pages I needed but didn’t have for August, so I added them after awhile. This month they’re there from the start. Let’s see if I use them!
I’m keeping my weekly layout for another month, they work really well and are very versatile.
My current project-page. Some new will be added, and some will be done. Hopefully I will need to redo this page soon. That’s a good thing – it means that my projects are moving forward!

September: I’m ready! Bring it!

R is for Reinforce!

R is for Reinforce!

All beings strive. Towards something, or from something. That’s basic behavior knowledge. A behavior that is reinforced gets stronger. Easy.

As a dog trainer – and sometimes teacher for humans – I use this knowledge to my advantage. I make sure that the behaviors I want to see more of are reinforced, and that the ones I don’t like get as little reinforcement as possible. There are two key elements to this (according to me):

  1. Identify the behavior. Way too often we tend to try to reward results, instead of the behaviors that will LEAD TO the results. It’s often easier that way, because we don’t have to think about the “how”. In my example below, I have put an R (Reward) every time I lose two kilos. Problem is – it doesn’t tell me how to get there. I need to complete this plan with a plan that reinforces the correct behaviors: exercise and healthy food choices.

 

2. Identify the reinforcers. A good reinforcer is something that the individual is willing to work for: most often something the individual likes to do. Eat, play and socialize are common reinforcers for dogs. I work for money (well, for what the money represents: things I can buy). I also work for praise, attention, appreciation, and the possibility to do things I like to do. Like coloring, writing, or checking boxes. See my spread below: I find it reinforcing to make them, look at them, and fill them in. It feels good.

My training plan (above) and my meal plan (below) identify the behaviors I need to get in better shape (walk a certain amount of steps every day, exercise, run, think about what I eat, and make healthy choices). They work with small reinforcers, enough to keep me on track.

 

And when all these small behaviors add up – I lose the weight I want to lose. And I get my bigger reward, from the first spread, as a bonus πŸ™‚