Thursday, July 21, 2011

On Training Articles

In my last post, I wrote about how hard it was for me to see where I could break going for a walk into smaller steps, and how that kept us from making progress for well over a year. As I was sharing my new discoveries with my husband (also very involved with Kumi - probably more than me) we started discussing the uselessness of most 'how to clicker train' resources we'd found, and came up with the following parody:

How 'The Internet' Tells you to Train Your Dog:

Don't hit your dog.

Do not hit him with a cane. Do not hit him on a train. Do not hit him in the rain.

Do not hit him in a box. Do not hit him with a fox. Do not hit him wearing socks.

Do not hit him on a farm. Do not hit him on the arm. Do not hit him when it's warm.

Do not hit him when it's cold. Do not hit him if he's old. Do not hit him you've been told!

To teach your do how to make you breakfast, first, show him where the eggs are. Then click and treat as he prepares each course correctly. Remember not to hit your dog.

It always felt like there were...some steps missing. Or, at the very least, an assumption that your dog was a lot more interested (driven? Similar in personality to a border collie?) than ours was.

So, ironically, right after figuring things out for ourselves and laughing at the dearth of good information available, we found Sue Ailsby's training levels. And, they're useful. They go slow enough. Importantly for me, they have numbers. As in, 'do this 10 times for 5 seconds'. Instead of 'do this a lot for very short durations'. I like her method of teaching duration. It's very structured and appeals to the 'nerd' in the title up there. After a poor track record of getting Kumi to submit to grooming without being restrained, I've started using her approach to that. It's way too soon to know if it's doing any good, but at least it's a plan.

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