As a professional dog trainer, there are times where I am so busy with clients’ dogs that training my own dog falls by the wayside. When I do work with Dan, we are often working on a long-term goal – an agility skill, working on calmness around other dogs and people, etc.
I have been thinking about ways to focus more on simple fun with Dan and also to teach him some skills, tasks, or behaviors that I haven’t taught before.
Sometimes I will get on a roll and teach Dan a new trick, but this really only happens a few times a year. When we do this, he learns it quickly – in a week or less! He is happier because he’s gotten some focused, fun attention and it’s easy to practice indoors in the winter when he might otherwise not get enough exercise.
Putting these thoughts all together, I have decided to start “Project 52 Weeks”. I am going to teach Dan one trick/skill/behavior/concept per week for the next year. And, I want you all to try it with me!
Here’s what I will do:
- Sunday evenings I will post the behavior of the week.
- Tuesday mornings, I will post the training guide/shaping steps
- Thursdays I will post Dan’s progress and the following Sunday when the new trick comes out, I will post a video of the last trick.
Here’s your part:
- Sunday evenings, look at the behavior of the week – try to come up with a training plan
- Practice it Monday/Tuesday
- Tuesday you can look at my training plan and compare it to yours. Modify yours as you like and keep practicing!
- Sunday, post a video of the final behavior (or the progress you’ve made) on my page. Everyone who posts a video will have his or her name entered into a monthly drawing to win a cool dog book, toy, or treat. The behavior doesn’t have to be perfect in order to post a video, just a start.
- If you aren’t able to do it every week, that’s okay – join us when you can!
The main event will take place on my Facebook page, but I will post a weekly update on the blog too so you can all follow along with what’s happening.
Sunday, September 27th will be the real start date with the first drawing taking place October 31st. We will get a head start on the first week with the trick: Cross Paws in a Down like this adorable Boxer.
Hope you can join us in learning some fun new tricks with your pup!