I like things organized.
Orderly. Labeled. Planned.
One manifestation of this obsession is with daily planners. You guys, I live by my day planner. I plan out everything: daily to dos, shopping lists, appointments, cleaning, and so on.
Most recently, I started planning dog training.
We’ve been hardcore training with Lucas on two different things. The cat, of course. And we’re crate training him–which we skipped in the past because he was SO terrified of the crate and it wasn’t a necessity–but now we need him to be fine in one in case of a hurricane evacuation.
As we worked, John and I went back and forth, trying to figure out if we were making progress, stalled out, or backtracking.
The best way to answer those questions and plot a road forward?
But planning is only effective if it’s simple and strategic. You need to know what’s working and tweak as necessary.
OK. So all that was swirling around in my head.
Meanwhile, there were conversations between bloggers about how much time we spend training our dogs. Many people said that they use opportunities throughout the day to train.
And I kept coming back to one question: If we’re utilizing times throughout the day to train, but we’re not really seeing progress, how do we know if what we’re doing is working?
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We need a way to track those training mini dog training sessions!
A darling dog-loving friend who is an incredible designer helped me put together a super cute, simple worksheet to track all of those dog training mini-sessions. I’m seriously so excited about this because it’s all those ideas coming together in a useful way!
Click here to download the Training Mini-Sessions worksheet! (Opens a PDF in another tab.)
I have a bunch printed out that I hole punched to go in a binder (I like this kind because it’s made from recycled material instead of plastic), though I’m going to print some resized to fit in my planner (of course). I’ve been using them for a few things: Cooper’s barking, Lucas’ crate training, the cat training, and a series of tricks I’m working on with Coop. I need to start something with Emmett… his section of the binder is bare!
Here’s a picture of a sheet we started to work on Lucas’ crate training. As you can see, we’re being really inconsistent with this training! Laying it out in writing helped us realize we needed to ramp up our game! (I couldn’t photograph the sheet with Cooper’s bark training on it. Too many swear words. He’s my little angel!)
Bonus: If multiple people in your home train with the dog, you can each write entries as you see in the example above. John and I both recorded training sessions on there, which helped us to know what the other person was doing and if they had any successes.
I hope you find it as useful as I have! There’s another thought swirling around that this might be the first step in what could become a bigger dog training journal project (more on that later).
In the meantime, what are you training these days? Do you use any tools to plan out your training?