Thursday, July 15, 2010

List of 100

Continuing on our problem solving quest...

Problem: In what ways might I improve class (training) so both the dogs and I will enjoy what we are working on and I will remain enthusiastic about reaching my goals.

Step 3: Analyze the Problem

Let's try the List of 100 way...

100 Ways to make class fun for the dogs...
  1. Use a variety of cookies
  2. Have action activities
  3. Less quiet/down time
  4. Keep the lesson understandable
  5. Reduce frustration
  6. Don't do the same thing every day
  7. Don't do anything for too long
  8. Be organized before I start
  9. Keep the waiting dog waiting for less time
  10. Include activities they enjoy
  11. Hold class in various locations
  12. Use different props
  13. Make the exercises look different
  14. Include games they like
  15. Include fetch
  16. Include tug
  17. Include some competition
  18. Go outside
  19. Add water (for Zachary)
  20. Add scenting (for Beau)
  21. Reduce distractions
  22. Include interaction with me
  23. Rapid motions
  24. ... like spins
  25. ... or chasing
  26. Add finding things
  27. Include out people in the family
  28. Shorter training for a particular thing but more time overall
  29. Swap the dogs more frequently
  30. Train them together
  31. Include toys
  32. Have a toy box just for training time
  33. Have a special reward at the end of training
  34. Train with a friend
  35. Train at the pet store
  36. Train in the park
  37. Rent Wendy's yard
  38. Try many different warm-up activities
  39. Break "boring" stuff into bits and work on them separately
  40. Understand what I'm training before I try to train it
  41. Have stations in various rooms of the house and moving from station to station during one training session
  42. Turn on lively music (Stars and Stripes forever!)
  43. Include things they already know how to do
  44. Include things "just for fun" (tricks)
  45. Don't try to do too many things at once
  46. Don't let the camera slow things down
  47. Incorporate more of what I want to train in everyday activities
  48. Have son do some training
  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)
  51. Figure out their learning style (is there a list of dog learning styles?) and try to accommodate them
  52. Spread out things they don't like so we aren't working on more than one at a time
  53. Be enthused about things they don't like (maybe it'll be contagious)
  54. Come up with creative distractions
  55. ... creative training methods
  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.
  58. Check YouTube for ideas about making training fun
  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
  62. Create a sign that says "My Dogs are the Best" and hang it up where I can see it when class starts
  63. Create a class room
  64. Throw a party when they succeed
  65. Include "harder" things so they have to think
  66. Include thinking games
  67. Challenge their minds
  68. Include problem solving (ball in the box) activities
  69. Try to make a game for every activity
  70. Make games that work on bits of boring things
  71. Take a day off and do nothing but fun/known things
  72. Create a freestyle "routine" to work on heeling (ie: to music)
  73. Bring in outside things to augment training
  74. If something isn't working, stop doing it
  75. If something is working, do more of it
  76. Ask other people how they keep training fun
  77. Find a training partner for Zachary
  78. Give the non-working dog something to do while waiting
  79. Show more enthusiasm for small successes
  80. Be genuine with praise
  81. Work with their instincts
  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
  84. Be more fun to be around during training
  85. Stick with at least 5 days a week
  86. Don't blame them if they don't learn something - it's the instructors fault
  87. Incorporate more "life" rewards
  88. Include training of behaviors that will allow them to do things they would really enjoy
  89. Fun in contagious - figure out what I enjoy and include that too
  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)
  94. Finish behaviors so they can show them off - they love the attention!
  95. Show off things trained to family - they love the attention!
  96. Have a "recital" once a week for family - they love the attention!
  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
  101. Discover what motivates them, and use it
  102. Discover what is demotivating, and avoid it

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