Friday, May 20, 2011

Mistakes to Avoid

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.  

Wordle: Dog Training 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
  • Impatience
  • Failure to look at things from a dog’s point of view.
  • Don’t train angry
  • Loss of temper and YELLING.
  • Over training
  • Brutality
  • 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.
  • Patience
  • Enjoyable
  • Sense of humor
  • Fun
  • Friends
  • Keep smiling
  • A puppy can do no wrong.
  • Guidance, not punishment
  • Persistence
  • Patience
  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • You are gonna screw up
  • Trust
  • 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?

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