Friday, July 16, 2010

List of 100 - Sorted

... And the same list of 100 ways to make class fun for the dogs, grouped into broad categories.

Add Fun
  10. Include activities they enjoy
  14. Include games they like
  15. Include fetch
  16. Include tug
  17. Include some competition
  19. Add water (for Zachary)
  20. Add scenting (for Beau)
  22. Include interaction with me
  23. [Include] Rapid motions
  24. ... like spins
  25. ... or chasing
  26. Add finding things
  31. Include toys
  43. Include things they already know how to do
  44. Include things "just for fun" (tricks)
  87. Incorporate more "life" rewards

Replace Boring
   1. Use a variety of cookies
   2. Have action activities
  12. Use different props
  39. Break "boring" stuff into bits and work on them separately
  32. Have a toy box just for training time
  33. Have a special reward at the end of training
  38. Try many different warm-up activities
  54. Come up with creative distractions
  69. Try to make a game for every activity
  70. Make games that work on bits of boring things
  72. Create a freestyle "routine" to work on heeling (ie: to music)

Mental Stimulation
  66. Include thinking games
  67. Challenge their minds
  68. Include problem solving (ball in the box) activities

Class Environment
  11. Hold class in various locations
  18. Go outside
  35. Train at the pet store
  36. Train in the park
  37. Rent Wendy's yard
  41. Have stations in various rooms of the house and moving from station to station during one training session
  63. Create a class room
  73. Bring in outside things to augment training

Class Pacing
   3. Less quiet/down time
   7. Don't do anything for too long
   8. Be organized before I start
   9. Keep the waiting dog waiting for less time
  21. Reduce distractions
  28. Shorter training for a particular thing but more time overall
  29. Swap the dogs more frequently
  46. Don't let the camera slow things down

Class Structure
  27. Include other people in the family
  30. Train them together
  34. Train with a friend
  47. Incorporate more of what I want to train in everyday activities
  49. Break it up into morning, afternoon, and evening sessions (2-3 minutes each)
  50. Ask for behaviors right before something they want (like a walk)
  71. Take a day off and do nothing but fun/known things
  78. Give the non-working dog something to do while waiting
  85. Stick with at least 5 days a week

Class Content
   6. Don't do the same thing every day
  13. Make the exercises look different
  42. Turn on lively music (Stars and Stripes forever!)  45. Don't try to do too many things at once
  52. Spread out things they don't like so we aren't working on more than one at a time
  65. Include "harder" things so they have to think
  88. Include training of behaviors that will allow them to do things they would really enjoy
  94. Finish behaviors so they can show them off - they love the attention!
  96. Have a "recital" once a week for family - they love the attention!

Class Instruction
   4. Keep the lesson understandable
   5. Reduce frustration
  40. Understand what I'm training before I try to train it
  48. Have son do some training
  56. Try different approaches to explaining something to them
  57. Keep track of what works and what doesn't (to avoid the first and do more of the later.)
  64. Throw a party when they succeed
  74. If something isn't working, stop doing it
  75. If something is working, do more of it
  81. Work with their instincts
  89. Fun in contagious - figure out what I enjoy and include that too
  95. Show off things trained to family - they love the attention!

General Thoughts
  53. Be enthused about things they don't like (maybe it'll be contagious)
  59. Don't get upset when things don't go well
  60. Don't wrap my self-worth up in their success/failure
  61. Don't focus on the negative, focus on the positive
  79. Show more enthusiasm for small successes
  80. Be genuine with praise
  84. Be more fun to be around during training
  86. Don't blame them if they don't learn something - it's the instructors fault
  90. Remember that they want to please - it's my job to see they are successful
  91. Punt early if something is obviously not working
  92. Don't give up on something too soon, give it time to work
  93. Push through "the wall" (90% done, and holding)
  97. Don't be the teacher you hated in school
  98. Do be the teacher you loved in school
  99. Don't compare the dogs
 100. Don't try to train them the same way

My Action Items
  51. Figure out their learning style (is there a list of dog learning styles?) and try to accommodate them
  55. Come up with creative training methods
  58. Check YouTube for ideas about making training fun
  62. Create a sign that says "My Dogs are the Best" and hang it up where I can see it when class starts
  76. Ask other people how they keep training fun
  77. Find a training partner for Zachary
  82. Figure out what their instincts really are!
  83. Watch how they play together and see if I can use some of those behaviors during training time
 101. Discover what motivates them, and use it
 102. Discover what is demotivating, and avoid it

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