She's been here long enough to settle in and get to know her new housemates. While her training started the instant I met her, we're ready to begin formal training today.
What's the difference between day-to-day training and formal training? Not much, really, when you get right down to it.
Day-to-day training happens everytime Caysun and I are together. It happens when she's playing, when she's going to the bathroom, when she's wandering about the room. I call this kind of training "the rules of the road," because it's the way I teach the pup my expectations about how dogs behave.
It's as simple as moving my legs when she puts her paws on me. In just two days, Caysun's figured out that sitting elicits so much more attention than putting her paws on me. She's learning that leaning her front paws on the cabinets when I'm fixing her dinner isn't nearly as good as sitting. She's learning that there's a very specific path (and door) that leads to the outdoors where she goes to the bathroom.
Formal training will begin today. Formal training usually happens in a training session. I separate her from the other dogs, I have a specific goal and behavior in mind, and we work toward that goal, and mark our progress. Eye contact, for instance, is one of the behaviors I'll work on with her today. I will set out with the specific goal of clicking her each time her eyes meet mine.
Both types of training are equally important. You can't just do one of them and expect a well-behaved dog. Eventually, we'll work the formally trained behaviors into the day-to-day training, as Caysun becomes more fluent with the behaviors and is capable of doing the behaviors in an everyday environment (with the other dogs around, in the face of larger distractions, etc.).
She’s got a wild look in her eyes, that one! Looking forward to hearing all about her learning and growing!!
Caysun sounds like a smart girl! I’m sure your formal training sessions with her will be a delight.
Oh my gosh, Caysun is so cute! My dog isn’t a pup, but I’m looking forward to reading about your process with Caysun as I am working on training my own dog. He’s a great dog but I have been negligent with training and I know the “day to day” training is what I really need to do.
Pup Fan says
Really interesting! I’d never thought about the difference between formal and day-to-day training.
Welcome to Caysun!
This is such a good explanation of how training happens all the time. So many people think training is only what you do in a class or practicing for a class.
But smart dogs in particular are always watching us and learning. With Honey I sometimes wonder how she learned something. It’s almost as if she picks things up by osmosis.
It means I need to be aware of myself and what I’m teaching her–even when I’m not planning to teach.
I carry a clicker around almost constantly to capture what I may want to train and/or reinforce so I am always looking for training opportunities. I don’t always carry treats but I keep a pocket full of Good Girls and belly rubs which works just as well with the clicker.
Have Clicker, Will Train ;-).