This contains a variety of essays, generally related to dog training of some sort, since that is my profession and my passion, as it's been since 1990. - written by Adele Yunck
Sunday, January 29, 2012
I have long been an on-again-off-again record keeper when it comes to training my dogs. I do endeavor to write down our score breakdowns after every trial, including talking to the judges to get details of exactly where we lost points in their ring. I also get every run videoed that I can. Now that I have an iPad 2, that is what I'm using for 'taping' my runs. It means I don't have to take along the video camera, make sure it is charged up, nor make sure I have a useable tape. All of that is a huge win in my opinion. And the big screen is much nicer to watch my runs on than the little video camera screen.
When I got an app called 'Noteshelf' for the iPad last August, I started creating training log pages to use to keep track of our training and exercise endeavors. Here is the blank one I'm using for Ty's training. Ty is competing in Open B and Utility B, and we're mostly doing maintenance.
Here is the most recent page from the log book filled out in Noteshelf. I use the thumbs down icon to indicate that Ty went down on a sit stay. The highlighted circles are what I plan to do before I start. Sometimes I do all of them, sometimes I don't. There is no significance to the blue checks vs the red Xs. Just which icon I chose to use on that day.
Something I can note from this log is that I didn't do any special work on fronts in the week leading up to the recent trials, and that showed up in our ring performances. If I want our scores to nudge up enough to be in the placements, I need to spend time on them.
I had Ty checked in early January by my local rehab vet. In part because of my training log, I was able to tell the vet that Ty had gone down on sit stays 4 times in 2 days. In the past, when I haven't been training stays much, I've attributed the sit stay failures to that lack of practice. But I was doing them regularly and got thinking maybe it wasn't just a training issue. Sure enough, Ty had a sore triceps muscle. As my vet said, the tricep is an anti-gravity muscle, so it could certainly contribute to her lying down on her sit stays. I was so proud of her qualifying in Open both days at the Dayton trials.
With Sonic, I've got an obedience log and an 'other' log - for field related drills, conformation, and grooming. This helps me remember that it's time to trim her nails again (something I put off as long as possible with the big dogs).
Of course, I AM a computer geek, so I love using the iPad for note taking. How do you plan and keep track of your training?