New Year's Non-Resolutions

I hope everyone had a safe and happy new year! We survived New Year’s Eve by playing the popcorn game for every big boom of fireworks… my dogs have learned to LOVE fireworks and Bandit is no longer terribly fearful.

I am not someone who issues resolutions every year. I just don’t find a lot of value in resolutions–particularly for dog training; there are too many variables involved and I would hate for the well being of a dog to be secondary to fulfilling a resolution. Instead of training resolutions, I may set out some goals or targets for a year of training and activities I want to work to accomplish and things that I’m certainly capable of doing with the dogs. So here are MY personal “resolutions”, Shayne’s goals and Rio’s goals… with a reflection on our goals from last year.

Tena’s personal goals are to spend more time working with her own dogs. I’ve struggled the last 4 months to do much training with Shayne and Rio. I feel like i’m so busy doing training for others and teaching classes that coming home and doing training isn’t always on my to-do list. I really want to make sure that I hold up my end of the bargain with them. I ask that they don’t bug me all night to play but I have to make sure they are getting the work they need–it’s not just exercise, they need the mental workout. With new weave poles, new tunnel, and APTD Rally-O courses I figure I have plenty of things to work on…just need to make sure it gets done everyday!

Shayne’s big goal for 2011 was to have her earn her Canine Good Citizens (CGC) title, become more social with other dogs, continue to work on her doggie greetings, and work on her fence fighting. I am proud to say that all of these things were worked on (luckily before the last 4 months were I’ve been slacking). She earned her CGC in August, has an ever growing group of doggie friends, has improved her doggie interactions off-leash, and although I slacked on her fence fighting behavior, she easily calls off and doesn’t go back to it.

For 2012 I want to work on her on-leash greeting behaviors using BAT–I’d really like her to be able to comfortably greet another dog in a semi normal fashion OR know how to get out of a stressful situation without snarking. I want enroll her in an APDT Rally trial and her have fun while working–placing or titles aren’t too important to me. I just want her to have fun and be comfortable in the ring, anything beyond that is bonus. I’d like to finish her handstand trick and I want to see her continuing to make new canine pals. I’m hoping to enter her in a CPE agility trial some time this year as well. Lastly I REALLY want to finish working on her fence fighting–it was much improved this past year but I’d like her to simply not engage at all.

Rio didn’t have any major goals, I don’t think, for 2011. I wanted him to continue his frisbee training and learn to enjoy the “short” game, I also wanted to get him enrolled in agility classes, give him more opportunities for lure coursing and have him make more doggie friends. We did pretty well on our 2011 goals. Rio has learned to enjoy his frisbee short game more than he did before (though it’s definitely not his favorite), he was in agility classes for 6 months off and on (until I didn’t have the time), I drove 7.5 hrs to NY last year and 2 hrs to OH for him to go coursing (it wasn’t as much as I’d like but it was as much as I could do), and this year he made a handful of new canine friends–including our fosters.

What I am aiming for in 2012 is much of the same but a few new things. Although I don’t know if he’s ready to be a Therapy Dog (I’m not sure he’d enjoy it yet), I’d like for him to earn his TDI certification so he can do therapy events if I think he’d enjoy them, like stress-relief for college students. I’m hoping to drive to NY twice during the coursing season and drive out to OH again for their coursing event (this boy lives to run). I want to have him enjoy being in the ring at a Rally-O trial–again, placement and titles are just bonuses for us–I want him to have a good time. I’m hoping to work on his gosh-awful barking habit–he barks nonstop when he’s playing with other dogs to the point that he can easily really bother other dogs and handlers. I’d like to work on it–I know it’s part of who he is but I think some progress can be made.

So, what are some goals or targets you have for you and your pup(s) in 2012? Anyone working on a specific trick or working a specific behavior?

1 Comment
  1. I’ve always been interested in nosework so hope to train my puppy for nosework this year 🙂

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