The other reason is that, on February 1, I began daily training sessions with all four dogs. I have not worked at this type of training in decades and I have been eager to revisit it for several years. But I had really been stuck on HOW? Training methodologies are important to me and things have changed a lot in the years since I was involved. Amidst the myriad of varying information available and my own often highly conflicting views, I had not been able to arrive at the HOW. Not until late last year, that is, when I bought a textbook on learning theory and behavior, ordered some DVDs that I hoped would be helpful (they were!), finally opened a set of excellent horse (yep!) training books I got at Equine Affaire a few years ago, and did some studying on the internet. All of this culminated in the training sessions that began the first of this month.
Things have really clicked (hah!) and my dogs and I are very much enjoying ourselves! But establishing the habit of daily training sessions, planning what to train (first, second, third, etc), how to train, when to train, when to go back, when to maintain, and when to move on, has required a lot of start-up brain power. I spent a good portion of my time at home devoted to this endeavor and I am so glad I did.
It is all coming to me more readily now. I have the basic training structure in place and it has become part of our day. And when I walk past the room where we have been training and see one or more of the dogs sitting there waiting and hopeful for a training session, then I know all the effort to figure out HOW has been worth it. My dogs have craved the training even more than I.