Make a PLAN!

What’s a training plan, and how do I make one?

Before you start training a skill, you need to make a training plan.

The key to successful dog training is in the planning.  The following is a step by step method to aid you in developing a training plan for a skill you would like to train or one you are currently training yet hitting a wall of problems.

Make it EASY

Take your time to think through and analyze each step.  Concentrate on one skill at first.  Get use to organizing and planning.  As you go through this program with each skill you want to teach your dog, you will find planning a training program will become easier.

Do you have trouble organizing a training plan?

The first step is to describe the skill, and set your criteria.  The more detailed the plan, the better your results.  What will the finished skill look like?

The second step is to evaluate where you currently are.  If this is a brand new skill, you are starting from the first step.  If this is a skill you have been working on, evaluate the skill.  Keeping records will tell you what your dog is doing reliably and what still needs improving.

The final step is to make a plan to get from where you are to where you want to be.  Start with the skill.  Break it into responses, and shape it to the perfection you are looking to achieve.

As you train, keep your training plans handy for tracking your progress. Periodically review your training plan, and revise the definition of the final behavior, if necessary. Don’t stop working on the skill until your dog performs the skill to match your criteria in step one.

Please leave comments or email me with future article ideas at Ask DebbyQ. 

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3 thoughts on “Make a PLAN!”

  1. I do make training plans, and need to fine tune them more. I used to not have a written plan, but find making a plan is definitely more beneficial. Details on how to decide criteria would be helpful.

    A future article idea, if you haven’t already done it, would be about how much training should one do? Can you overdue the training?Can you burn out your dog? Should you train every day or every other? How long should you make your training sessions? How much variation should you include in one training session? Does it help to take time off from training, and give your dog a break? How to decide these things for your own particular dog?

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