#30daysofcaninescience *Day 17*

Day 17 is about tracking progress from a plan with specific criteria. This is an efficient way to go forward in training. To takes steps necessary for progress and not get stuck. However, this way of tracking progress is a bit difficult for me since it’s very static. I’m not a behaviourist and think that there are so many factors involved in learning that can vary and has to be taken into account. Anyway, this way of working has been well analysed and tested, so I’m sure it’s super good for other personalities than me.

When I did this I wanted to do it right and keep the criteria. Normally I would have gone with the flow and accepted that she went ahead of planned, but now I chose to make a cross on the progress sheet and redo it until I got 3 right in a row. 

This was one continuous session of like 10 min, with getting some more treats in the middle (does it count as a pause? edited it out anyway). I got as far as starting with the duration and distance. Went back a bit in the plan but decided to stop at 2 sec duration instead of my goal of 10 sec. It felt like it was a good choice. Down here you can see my progress sheet. 

  • Pros

    This icon will be used to indicate Pros

  • Cons

    This symbol will be used to indicate Cons

Criteria and tracking progress

  • Easy to progress

    Sometimes when you don't track progress you get stuck in a pattern that might be hard to break later on. This is a good way to avoid that by always moving forward.

  • Clear

    The criteria are very clear and should be easy to follow, which makes it easy to evaluate.

  • Researched

    I know that this way of evaluating is the most common when training working dogs. Its clear, and makes it easy to progress and see what fails in the plan.

  • Static

    I'm not training dogs for service, so for me it's not important with the precision and control. It doesn't matter if something needs problem solving afterwards, because I tried something new. I like to change my way of communicating depending on the response I get from the dog. That's difficult with this way of tracking progress.

  • Planning

    This way of tracking progress needs a good plan where the dog's personality has been considered. I find that hard to do since I never know exactly what response I will get from the dog. I guess I'm more of a "go with the flow" person. However, I always make plans and think about consequences, pros and cons. And then I take a break to problem solve when my plan is failing.

  • Too simple

    Sometimes I think that this way of tracking progress is a bit simplified. I want to remember how the dogs was feeling, what happened before and after, is there any other things to take in to consideration when continuing? I ask a lot of questions all the time, and a sheet filled in like this makes me feel a bit limited. When I look back I can only see the quantity of "right and wrong". But what is really right or wrong? I mean, we all reach a goal taking different roads. The journey is as important as the goal.

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