Sunday, July 18, 2010

Gold Stars

(Editors Note: Yes, I know I'm only on Step 4 of 7 in our problem solving process, but I can only take so many days of this soul searching stuff before I need to do something concrete.)

One of the items in the "My Action Items" section of my List of 100 ways to make class fun for the dogs was:

    #76 Ask other people how they keep training fun

... and so I did. I posted my question on July 15 (Thursday) to the Training Levels Yahoo! group and boy they come through with some really great ideas.

Some great implementable ideas.

As I'm not really sure the "public domainess" of such conglomerations of peoples ideas from a group, I will not dump the summary here (if you are just dying to know you can always join the group and search for it: "Lack of Enthusiasm - Summary") but I do feel pretty safe in pointing them out as I try them:

  1. Movement: I have been sprinkling spins, weaves through legs, walking backward,... etc. during training time and I've been seeing good results. Both dogs love that sort of thing and just a few seconds of it (with clicks and treats, of course!) is a noticeable pick-me-up for both of them.
  2. A new training book: I went to the bookstore today (one of my favoritest places in the whole wide world) and picked up: How Dogs Think - What the world looks like to them and why they act the way they do and How to Speak Dog, both by Stanley Coren. Who knows, maybe if I get inspired enough I'll try my hand writing a book review. Or not. (Click images to see details on dogwise.)


  3. Start with something easy and end with something easy: Sounded good to me, and was really easy to do!
  4. Create a Gold Star calendar for days trained: Another low-hanging fruit idea that worked out exceptionally well since the local office supply store had several varieties of cheap calendars that actually run July-Jun (who'd a thunk it - must be for school?) Even better, the pages are tear-off, so I stuck the current month in my clear clip-folder of Weekly Worksheets. I made it last, turning it so it "looks" out the clear back cover. I bought some little sparkly gold stars to mark items completed, and sparkly rainbow-colored happy faces for days trained. Awwww... I will admit my track record for keeping calendars up-to-date is extremely poor, except for the one I keep at work, so we'll see how long this actually lasts. I'm thinking of adding a Calendar page to this blog, but I'm having trouble imagining anyone cares but me, and I have the original so I don't need it on line.
... and I guess that just about does it. For now!


Carolyn Bray said...

Wow you are amazing!!! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. What an inspiration you are to me for keeping organized with my dogs' training.
I am an obedience competitor with an OTCH dog and another one who has her RN, CGN and N-CD. She hasn't started her CKC career yet. I am in the levels group and LOVE Sue Ailsby but I rarely make any comments.
I have also seen some of your videos and really enjoyed them.
You are also talented on the computer
Cheers and keep up the good work.
Carolyn Bray

BZ Dogs said...

Glad you enjoy them. :)

OTCH - that's a HUGE accomplishment and requires real commitment (and organizational skills!) I love the Levels group - lots of tail wagging and almost no snarfs. :)