Tuesday, June 15, 2010

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Practice Makes Perfect and Lessons Learned

Practice Makes Perfect
I've been thinking about the phrase "Practice makes perfect" a lot lately. Particularly since my post about my massive fail on the FIND the commands. After posting that, I walked through my kitchen and glanced up at the pantry door and there taped to the doors are FOUR PAGES from the Puppy Manual and one of the pages is a PAGE OF COMMANDS.

So, at least three or four times a day I walked past a page that told me that I needed to teach those commands! Sheesh. What that tells me is that my mind is a sieve with great gaping holes and it will take a determined effort to overcome my innate ability to forget my name and where I live. Ah, old age. My mind. I miss it so. 8-)

In the beginning when you first get your puppy, you are so frightened of doing anything wrong you live with the manual, constantly going over it. I think I read it compulsively over and over the first two months. Then, it's all you can do to get the basics down that you forget to go back to the manual and add in the other things. That's where I went wrong.

So my big lesson learned for myself with the next puppy is that at the beginning of every month I am going to revisit the manual and just check it out and see if there is anything I need to brush up on. It's too easy to THINK you are on the right path and to ACTUALLY be way out in the field wandering by yourself.

Lessons Learned

One of the lessons that we learned was that when SEGD offers an obedience class, take it. We did: three times! We just weren't confident that we were teaching the commands correctly and we thought Bingo needed more deliberate practice on overcoming his dog distraction. I just can't say enough good things about trainer Jennifer and how wonderful she was to work with and how much she taught us. Bingo went from being way outside the circle of acceptance on the first class, to being in the circle by the third set of classes. Pretty good for the little rockhead!

Here is a little video of Bingo practicing the come command.

Now here he is doing it without me for a distraction. 8-)

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