Drinking From the Toilet: Real dogs, Real training

A behind-the-scenes look into the reality of dog training, behavior, teaching, and learning. We love our dogs, we love our jobs, but sometimes it's not all unicorns and rainbows. Sometimes at the end of the day, you just need a drink and friend who gets it. We'll keep it fun, and keep it real.




#10 - Ignore this (just kidding!)

I’ve been spending some time lately pondering on how my use of language has changed… or even evolved somewhat in the area of dog training. It sounds like splitting hairs, but I do think the specific words that I use to talk about my training or to my students about their training… makes a difference. One of the words I've spent some time thinking about is "ignore" and how my use of the word has changed. By ignore, I mean when we deliberately, intentionally disregard a behavior. Ignoring is HARD for most trainers to swallow, and even harder to actually follow through on... and it can sometimes be an appropriate behavior management strategy, and sometimes it's not helpful at all! When shaping we are taught (correctly) to focus on one criteria at a time, and temporarily relax other criteria. For example, while focusing on speed, we may ignore errors of precision… *temporarily*, and that’s key. Ignoring errors of precision can be quite painful for the type A, obsessive dog trainer, but gets easier with experience. And also it gets easier to tell when it's appropriate to ignore minor errors and trust that they'll come out in the wash.


 05 April 2017  12m