One time I heard an illustration about the difference between a plan and a purpose. For the purpose of dog training it would look like this:
Your purpose is to have a well mannered, well rounded, skilled pup. Your plan to do so is to train that dog the necessary amount to pass her CGC and be able to perform the skills for Rally Obedience.
But on the road to your purpose there are a lot of “road blocks”. Reactivity rears its reactive head, other 4legged friends get Degenerative Myelopathy and require much more daily care, your pathetic 2legged body just doesn’t cooperate (ok thats a wimpy road block, but honest), real life just does get in the way of your plan.
Here is the superiority of having a purpose. A purpose is not so rigid that you can’t take a different route, bypass the road blocks and move on towards your ultimate goals.
A plan get derailed by the roadblock, not having a contingency plan to keep the purpose in focus the whole plan is derailed and failure looms! (Dramatic thunder and lightening booms here.)
I have a purpose so I do not feel failure loom, but I take a lot of refocusing to stay on the road to my ultimate goal of a well rounded, well mannered Maizey. It seems to take many adjustment in my plans that allows for contingencies.
It was only on August 11 that I did the last of these get organized and giddyup posts. Time for a new one, sorry! Maybe I should just make this a regular monthly feature to give forewarning to everyone!
Since this is the month of the walking challenge the plan is to work the rally skills we both know the basics of into our walks.
For an easy example, HALT: Handler stops, dog sits in heel position team heals forward. Should be pretty simple as we stop for each road crossing and can do random halts in any walk. Simple enough!
Another example, HALT DOWN: Handler stops, dog sits in heel position, then downs from sit. Team heels forward from down. Same application of above and all skills she knows well.
Okay, for the enactment of this plan I think I am going to need more flash cards! The same way I keep the TL’s skills for that session on a carabiner to my belt I can choose a couple Rally skills for that day/walk and put them with the TL’s ones. Ahh. . . now the plans are flowing.
For the CGC skills I want to focus on: obviously we will meet plenty of strangers walking so Test 1: Accepting a friendly stranger, can continue as aforementioned, with the addition of some increasing distraction level by walking past the elementary school near here, she LOVES kids! This also works nicely for Test 2: Sitting politely for petting and obviously for Test 4: Out for a walk (walking on a loose lead) also for Test 5: Walking through a crowd.
Again I can see the usefulness of more flash cards for this too. YAY! (I do love flash cards you know!)
Also this month I would like to work on Test 10: Supervised separation as the trouble spot to focus on. Having this nailed down more would have made our trip much easier on both of us. . . but that is its own post in itself!
Of course we will continue to work on Ricky’s Training Challenge, and finishing up our last 5 L2 skills:
distance, stand, stand-stay, target, trick.
So in conclusion I have a good purpose, which is what keeps me going and a lot of plans and contrivances. Perhaps a month in review may be in line here too! Goodness its, plans, contrivances and purposes, Oh my!