Sometimes I realize that my brain goes through training progressions just on it's own...
And I can, at times forget those progressions to tell students. Which can be a barrier to communication. Students need each and every step and without those tiny steps, things don't go as planned.
Learning to play the guitar has been outstanding to make me remember this on a weekly basis, so I can continue to realize the importance of progression and all it's steps.
I am lucky to have a teacher that really understands progression (thanks teach if you read this)...we started with basic things, and slowly things have gotten more and more difficult. Taking a song that LOOKS insane to play, for example Blackbird by the Beatles, breaking it down into small parts and then combining them back together again for the entire song. It makes learning so much easier, and the learned behaviors are more concrete.
Being that I am like a dog that, when overwhelmed and not successful, would be a biter, barker or spinner...this keeps ME from getting frustrated. I would totally draw blood if I was not being communicated with correctly :) But this way of learning works well for all creatures, break it down, work each part, combine--TA DA! Magic!
My teach is also VERY patient...which makes the ability to learn and be WRONG an ok thing...
I think learning the guitar has REALLY helped me work with my dogs AND my students! It's AWESOME!
We get caught in our comfort zones, we know agility, we know how to get from A to B. BUT...when we get put back at the start, and are out of our comfort zone, we realize how our dogs and students feel and what is needed in us as teachers.
So...for no one's benefit probably than my own, I am going to list the progression I have for teaching Mia how to play with toys:
2--touch toy with enthusiasm
3--open mouth on toy
5--bite toy enthusiastically
6--start tracking toy to a bite
7--toy further away and she will bite--talking 6 inches maybe
8--toy being moved longer and longer distances
9--want her to try to get the toy...she tries, she gets it---NO MATTER HOW OBNOXIOUS she is--I won't correct bad behavior (pawing, barking whatever) right now...she can't be wrong if she is trying to interact with the toy.
If she ever grabs toy she gets it--always!
10--toy on 20 foot long line--chase
11--toy on line, she chases, she catches, I do a TINY pull then give toy
build on that until she wants to hold onto toy on 20 foot line...if she gives a big tug she ALWAYS WINS.
12 thru step 50 probably :)--(shorten line until she is tugging with me holding toy...SHE STILL WINS. I am not requiring a release...distraction with another toy or pointing at the ground or whatever to get her to drop it.
Once really tugging HARD...then introduce a drop with food as a reward for dropping toy.
Tugging new places....during this I am working in different places she can focus, starting off in garage where it is a sterile place...not much to distract her...then outside in yard...then in house, then in town, in a parking lot, where ever...then with a dog....two dogs, 3 dogs etc....
I don't expect this to be done in a week, in a month...I will be patient and work through each and every step. It can't be rushed...if she has little breakthroughs I will PARTY and show her how amazing she is! And not expect it again, but just be aware it might. Expectations are NONE other than she just has to try :)
Writing down the steps helps...I think that for me anyway, it makes things more simple--and I like checking things off :)
So far---today she decided that mouthing the toy was fun :) So we can check off 2 :) I have video of it and will post today or tomorrow :)
My challenge to all of you...take up something new...something that you have always wanted to do...and take it up....feel the frustration, the newness, the challenge...look at the steps you have to go through...
At this point in my guitar progression--Blackbird by the Beatles is something I play FOR FUN...it's easy and automatic :) What a change!!!
Just because you are not learning new things IN agility (aka seminars, classes whatever)...doesn't mean the new things are you learning outside of agility won't help you with your training! Herding has completely changed my outlook on agility!! And the two don't have a lot in common :)
We either grow, or we are stagnant...I prefer to grow :)
I'd love to know what you are going to try!!!! Might give me some new ideas as well!