In an October 23 webinar, the AKC Detection Dog Task Force hosted Tim Baird, owner of the 5B Kennel in Piedmont, AL, and Stacey West, AKC Patriotic Puppy Program Manager for a practical discussion on ways to create efficiency in daily training routines.
The pros agreed that careful planning in the areas of transportation, how training data is recorded and analyzed and veterinary care, each play an important role in improving efficiency and keeping you on track for successful training outcomes.
West outlined the importance of transportation to a training site when training multiple dogs. “There are many options on the market for safely and efficiently transporting your working canines. You should choose what will fit your needs.”
Baird and West shared their individual approaches on the important topic of training notes. Recording training notes to track the progress of your dogs is crucial for determining next steps in training and keeping a pup/dog moving forward. Use software to analyze your data to pinpoint consistencies and weaknesses. Look for a vet who can work with you to accommodate multiple dogs and litters in an efficient and timely manner. Can they see a big litter and multiple dogs at one time? Do they travel? Can they come to your kennel for an appointment? Scheduling appointments for a series of visits months ahead of time should be a consideration to keep you and the pups on schedule.
Consider this: Group outings are beneficial for many aspects of puppy raising and training. Instead of spending 10 minutes with each puppy, think about doing group outings so the pups can learn from one another and learn to self-reward. Group transportation to a single location improves efficiency too. Introducing multiple surfaces in a small area further improves efficiency: You’re not spending time taking the puppies to different destinations. Self-learned behavior learned at a young age will stay will a puppy through its lifetime.
When asked, “Where do new trainers tend to waste most of their time?”, Tim Baird stated “Environmentals. If the pup does one great thing – you should give much praise and be done. Be a little better today than yesterday. Celebrate and move on.”
It’s also easy to become overwhelmed if you’ve taken on too much too soon. Learning efficiencies in your training routines can help alleviate undue stress on you and your pups.
To learn more, Click here for a recording of the webinar, and stay tuned for an upcoming announcement about a follow up program.