I think dog training is a blast – and that means I’m often bad about doing it systematically. Since my goal for 2019 is to be more deliberate about everything I do, I also decided that I’ll create an online dog training journal for my work with Barley.
This journal is really made to work for my thought process, so let me explain:
The first page is a status tracker for all of your dog’s cues. It’s meant to be an at-a-glance overview of where your dog is at. Track:
- Duration: how long your dog can hold a sit.
- Distance: how far away you can be when you give the cue.
- Distractions: can he sit at the dog park? how about the
- Cue discrimination: does he sit when you say pit or down
- Whether you need prompts/lures/hand signals or not
- Your body position: does your dog listen if you’re sitting, looking away, or lying down?
Speedof response: is their a lag?
I’m considering color-coding mine so that I can see red areas (weak areas) from a very quick glance.
This should help you focus on the weakest areas of your training, rather than just the most fun parts! I learned a lot by just filling this in.
The next 11 pages are a monthly calendar. Keep notes on specific training sessions here. I also try to track exercise and any weird things noted – such as odd behavior or symptoms of a cold.
I like using an online dog training journal because:
- I don’t need to carry around ANOTHER planner.
- I am never far from my laptop.
- It’s easy to erase, change, and move things if I realize I hate my current system.
- I can share it with you!
Kayla is from Ashland, Wisconsin but lives in Missoula Montana. She holds a degree in biology from Colorado College and has spent years working in zoos, animal shelters, and as a private dog trainer. When not working on Journey Dog Training, Kayla works at Working Dogs for Conservation. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. She shares her life with her dog Barley.