So, about six weeks ago, I posted about training schedules. In an effort to drill less and have more fun with my training, I decided to do something I called the “Five Times Challenge,” where I would train five times a day for 60 to 120 seconds. I did that for a few weeks, and then found that I really hated trying to keep track of it. It’s easy to do, but I tend to get a bit rigid about things like that. If I only did four sessions and not five, I felt like I’d failed for the day, which is patently silly, but even so, it created more stress than it was worth. So I quit doing it.
Which means I needed a new training plan. Now, as much as I get stuck when I create plans, I also need plans to keep me on track. The trick is creating a plan that helps keep me on task while allowing me the flexibility necessary so training remains fun.
I started by taking a look at my 2010 goals. I thought about the things I’m doing, and the things I’m not doing. Then I made a list of what I needed to be doing in order to meet those goals.
It looked like this:
I’ve been wanting to include more pictures in my entries because it’s supposed to be more interesting to readers. I’m not sure this actually qualifies.
Which is when I realized… a lot of the specific exercises I needed to work on could be done anywhere. My living room, my back yard… and… on walks?
YES! On walks! We’re already out and working together. I need to practice with distractions anyway. And I can use treats and environmental rewards!
And so I started something new. Every few blocks, I do an obedience exercise. I try to switch it up so I’m doing different things. Sometimes I repeat an exercise, sometimes I don’t do one at all. But at frequently during the walk (I’m not counting, because that makes me crazy, but really, it’s gotta be more than five times), I stop and have Maisy auto-sit, or do a moving down or a moving stand, or practice sit and down stays, or come front, or do finishes, or do about turns or pivots or change pace, or… well, pretty much anything you might see in rally or obedience except jumping or food bowls. (Those we do outside in my backyard on the weekends.)
It’s amazing. I’m getting so much more focus, and I swear, today I felt ready to tackle that CD-H, or maybe even a U-CD! For now, anyway, this variant of the five times challenge is working wonderfully!