Some thoughts about how to set a training criteria

Like I told you when I got back to this blog, I will try to translate some of my earlier posts and I decided to do so with one I wrote not too long ago when I wrote down some thoughts about my criterias in training and how I define them. I had a bit of a resting period during winter and had a lot of time to think about the exercises we train and how I present them to my dogs. Which parts do I need to teach them, if I really break it down? And how do I put them together. It’s something I feel like I’ve become more unclear about now when I’ve trained my dogs for so many years – that I, when I explain things to my dogs, can be one of those who skips a step or two because they’re so obvious to me. You know, like when you’re new at a workplace and someone says that “it’s super easy, you just log into the printer and press print” – but they forget to show you where the printer is and tell you which one of the 5 passwords you’ve got that goes to the printer, because it’s so obvious as soon as you’ve worked there for a while.

In the same way I’ve felt like I have to define EXACTLY what I want to teach my dogs. Exactly which movement do I want in my left turns? In which pattern do I want them to run the blinds and exactly how do my perfect grips on a dumbbell look? If I don’t define exactly how it’ll look when I’m happy to myself, it won’t possible to explain it to my dogs. If I don’t define how my dream grips looks more than “I want them to be fast”, it’s impossible to pin point what in the grip that wasn’t “fast enough”. But if I know that I want my dog to grip the dumbbell in front of them on their way out, and after that throw their front legs around and turn towards me and run back – I can easier see and make clear to myself if it’s the technique in the pick-up, too low drive and determination in the turning around or the speed back to me that’s not making me happy. The same goes for the blindwork for example – if I know that I want a dog who’s running straight to the blind, wraps around it right in front of it and goes the whole way around back to the same line they approach the blind on – a “tight blindwork” makes perfect sense criteria wise.

I do hear how obvious it sounds – but I don’t think I’m alone with setting criterias like “fast pick-up of dumbbell” and “better left turns” – they’re criterias, but they’re not that clear really. What does a “fast pick-up of dumbbell” really look like to me? And what is in need of improvement in our left turns? Which technique training does my dog need to perform that? I’ve worked through all of our routine and made CLEAR criterias for every exercises to make it clear to me – so I can make it clear to my dogs. Quality training needs quality planning and quality criterias.

I work with introducing and train new staff at my dayjob, and I have to be better at treating my dogs as if they’re new at the job when I introduce them to new stuff. Because even if they’ve been sitting next to me all the hours I’ve spent in front of working-dog and youtube they don’t seem to have done the same meticulous analyzes that I’ve done, haha!

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