How Well Do I Plan

Planning !The next few days are going to be hectic and need a lot of planning.  I am out teaching for 4 days straight and need to know exactly where I am going, what time I need to be there, how long it will take to get to each place and know how many miles it is to each of my clients (best not run out of diesel on route !  That would be poor planning).

I spend a significant amount of time planning my weeks, but I wonder if I show the same level of diligence to planning for training Brody.  Its so important to know what I am planning to teach BEFORE I start the training for real.  If I am not sure what I am going to train and how i am going to train it then how on earth would Brody know what I am asking for.

When I did my dog clicker training certification with Wagmore Barn each afternoon we played table top games.  Table top games are about teaching a person (another person on the course) to do a simple task that involved objects that were placed on a table.  It was so much fun watching us ready to train their learner…”wait, ok I’m ready, no hold on….”.  We ran through the training idea in our heads, thought about what we needed, what we didn’t need (an important concept for managing environments for the learner) and so on.  We carefully and thoughtfully planned.

After the table top games and a dissection of the learning theory used, what worked, what didn’t etc we were set a dog training task.  On day 1 when we got our task every one of us headed straight out to get the dogs.  THEN we thought about what equipment we needed and how to plan for the training.  Thankfully on day 2 we had all learned a little better and when we got our dog training task assigned we stopped, chatted about the task, thought about how that fit with where the dog is in their training today and so on….we planned.  THEN we went to get the dogs in for training.

Driving RoutesPlanning is a such an important part of the training.  If I take longer to plan out my training session than actually doing the training then I know I have done a thorough job with the planning.

Then there is the fun part where the horses decide our plan is not for today !  That they have something else in mind.  “When the plan is not working, be prepared to change the plan”, Karen Pryor, Don’t Shoot The Dog!.

Amanda Martin
The Click That Teaches – Approved Coach


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