One of my Facebook friends posted her “dog training New Year’s resolutions” earlier this week. I thought it was a great idea, and borrowed it for myself. I initially posted these on my Facebook account, but wanted to put a copy here so they’re easier to find, and then if I remember I can come back to them at the end of the year and see how well I did…or didn’t do (but let’s stay positive!)
* Train my dogs more!
I want to help them overcome and outshine their challenges – whatever they may be. I’d like to build a stronger bond with Inka through things he enjoys doing; and build a strong foundation with Starr by finding out what she enjoys (besides barking!). I want to be all I can be, so that I can help them both to be all they can be, without pushing or over-facing them.
* Train because it’s fun!
And because I love to do it. Nobody will die if we don’t train, but training will build and strengthen our bonds, teach me the strengths and weaknesses of myself and each of my dogs, and besides, it’s fun!
* Don’t waste breath and energy on cruel, pushy, aggressive, and ignorant people that rely on those same behaviours to bully animals and other people.
If anyone truly wants to change their ways they will, and I’ll be as present for them as I am to my own education. It’s not my job to do anything more or less than train my dogs using methods that I find appropriate, and to learn how to teach others to train their dogs using the same methods. It’s not my job to constantly show merit in my methods to naysayers. Constructive criticism, alternative routes, and new or innovative applications of good science are welcomed warmly, but I will only help those who are willing to help themselves.
* Do my coursework!
I have three months in which to do five questions, which is massively achievable if I can stop ruminating on the fact that getting up at stupid o’clock five mornings a week is horrid, and that currently the only way to stop having to do that is to win the lottery. Or maybe by being part of an awesome agility/flyball/heelwork to music team…a girl can dream!
* Be open to new and different things
Susan Garrett is due to be running her ‘Recallers’ on-line course early this year, and that’s definitely something I want to do (I love training, practising, and using my dog’s recall – there’s little better than your dog turning on a sixpence and running towards you full-tilt); I’ve also signed up to one of Pamela Dennison’s on-line courses which is due to start in a week or so. However, I won’t focus on on-line courses to the detriment of my coursework.
What about you, have you made any resolutions – either for you and your dogs (or whatever animal you’re training), or for yourself?