Clear goals are an important aspect of dog training.
Whether I am training a pet dog or a working dog, I always set very clear goals on what I want the dog to learn and to achieve. For pet dogs, some of the goals are the same for everyone. I want every dog to graduate with reliable obedience and I want to make sure that every owner is well educated and prepared to carry on their dog's training after I am out of the picture. Other goals that I have for these dogs will vary widely. Some people want their dog to just be able to relax in the house, while others want to be able to take their dog to downtown Lexington to eat on a resteraunt patio. Both are totally legitimate goals, but require that certain parts of the training have more emphasis than others. Whenever a new dog enters one of my training programs, whether it be a puppy kindergarden group class or a behavior modification board and train, I try to establish the client's goals right from the beggining. The more clear that I am on what the goal for the dog is, the better able I am to make sure that everyone is happy at the end of the training.
I also set goals for my own dogs every year. I have decided on some goals for each one of my dogs for the following year.
Modoc- Start trialing in agility, pick up a few titles.
Momo is going to be picking up some more agility training in the spring, and the plan is to start trialing next year. His contact behavior needs just a bit more polishing, and then we will be ready to roll. AKC and USDAA are going to be my focus with him, but we will probably also try out some UKI.
Wild- BH, get in lots of training for all 3 IPO phases, get cracking on agility training.
Wild just turned 18 months old, and he has been given a clean bill of health on his joints. That means we can start training agility! I am super excited to start training agility with him, and to continue with his IPO training. He is a very fun dog to work with, and I feel very lucky to have him. One of my big goals for him in 2017 is to earn his BH and possibly his IPO1.
Temper- CD, CDX, RA
Temper has some big ovedience goals in 2017! Our number one goal is to get her CD, and we are hoping to maintain the standard of scores that she has set so far (never had lower than a 195.5 for her BN). I have been reworking a few excercises to make them more precise, and we are hoping to trial in the spring. She has also started working on some advanced excercises, and I would like to get her CDX by the end of the year. We are also potentially going to pick up some rally titles or try her out in agility or tracking.
Sam is the owner and head trainer at Kentucky Dog Training LLC. She set up this blog to share success stories, training tips, the progression of dogs in our training programs, and other thoughts on dogs and training.