I was cruising the dog training forums the other day and ran across a thread titled: Mistakes to avoid in gun dog training. I was curious of what people had to say, but almost immediately I was surprised. Almost all of the hints listed in the thread could be directly translated to teaching human students as well. To make it fun, I took the text from the thread and created a wordle.
Some big things jump out. First, the words “training” and “dog.” I think we could easily exchange those for teaching/learning and students. The next level of words that jump out to me are things like humor, patience, fun, time, and short.
From the thread, I made a list of comments that were posted. First is a list of things not to do, in no particular order:
- Loss of temper
- Failure to look at things from a dog’s point of view.
- Don’t train angry
- Loss of temper and YELLING.
- Over training
- Don’t talk too much
- Commands dogs don’t understand
- Commands you cannot enforce
- Correcting a dog when it doesn’t know what it did.
- Overuse of e-collar
- Not having fun
- Not having a game plan
- Dogs are made gunshy, they do not come that way.
Next is a list of things to do, or general recommendations:
- ½ an hour daily is better than three hours on Saturday.
- Forgetting to socialize
- Allow other people walk it, feed it, let it see different people, explore and gain confidence
- Be a fair leader, not a dictator
- Make sessions short and end on good notes.
- Better a short quality session than a long pushed the dog to boredom session.
- Sense of humor
- Keep smiling
- A puppy can do no wrong.
- Guidance, not punishment
- You are gonna screw up
- Let pup learn
- Keep training sessions short and focused.
- Be patient and keep your mouth closed.
- Did I mention patience.
- Learn to listen
- know when to quit
- Cut you expectations in half for the first two years so that failure doesn't tweak your patience and temper and immediate success doesn't blind you
- Do not train unless your mind is on it and you are motivated.
As always, I have to bring this back to education. From reading the thread, and re-reading my lists, some things stood out to me in terms of how educating people is similar to training dogs.
Patience and persistence is huge in both.
I liked the one that said, “Learn to listen.” How do you listen to a dog? Ah, they speak. So do our students.
I also liked the comment, “Dogs are made gunshy, they don’t come that way.” How does this relate to students? I think there is a connection.
Anyone have additional thoughts?