To establish balance in training, one should understand the difference between “regimented training” and “motivational training.”
Regimented training often has precise steps with a beginning and an end. Many times “regimented training” is applied to all dogs regardless of the dog’s maturity, ability and without consideration of the dog’s natural drive or willingness to please.
On the other hand, a well thought out “motivational training” method, consists of a never ending cycle of planning, teaching, building drive (I want to work), and evaluating.
The planning phase of motivational training provides a direction for all your training session. It is needed to stay on task. Take the time to set goals, define behaviors and break down desired skills into as many pieces possible.
Regular evaluation enables you to assess results and analyze techniques. Is it working?
Constant consideration of the dog’s attitude is needed during and after all training sessions. As a result, modify your training plan accordingly to increase or decrease your dog’s attitude. I.E. should you add more play and motivation or add more self-control and precision.
Training methods should be flexible to best accommodate your dog.
The right BALANCE in training will produce a precise dog that remains energized and eager to work. A true pleasure to watch and train!