Patience seems to be the name of the game in dog training. We all want to get to the end result so quickly, but when we try to move ahead before our dog has a solid understanding of the basics of the behaviour, it often falls apart later in training or when we start trialling or adding pressure (proofing) to our training. So, it is often a battle between the thrill of seeing our dogs progress quickly and holding ourselves and our dogs to criteria that will hold up in the long run. The number one thing we need to remember is that dog training is not a race. In fact, a great deal of frustration often comes from trying to push ahead too fast. So, if it takes me 6 months to work up to 20 feet of distance in our signals, so be it.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
I have been working a bit with Rundle on hand signals. He was doing okay with this but then I tried to progress too fast (added to much distance before he was ready) and we started to get some creeping on the behaviours, which I do not want. So, I had to go back a couple steps and re-start the signals with Rundle right in front of me. What I want is a fast and clean response to the signals, which means a nice fold back down and a nice tuck sit, with no forward movement on either of them. Right now we are working on a down from a stand, a sit from a down, and a front from a sit. I am happy with how the individual behaviours are going, so I will slowly start adding distance to each of them. Once I have some good distance, while still keeping my criteria of no creeping forward, then I will shorten the distance again and start to combine the signals. It is so tempting to add more distance or start combining signals when your dog is doing well at the beginning stages, but when you go too fast and skip too many steps, it sucks to have to go back and start all over. So, the second I see any sloppiness, I need to go back a step to where Rundle was successful.