Thursday, August 6, 2009

What to do at night in New York City.

One of the things I like about my job is that it gives me the opportunity to travel.  Not too much, just enough.  This week a colleague and I were in New York City.  We worked all day and went out to nice dinners in the evening.  Being from the Midwest, we saw no reason to wait until it was "fashionable" to be at dinner.  We ate dinner early and got done early.  So what is a woman to do with time on her hands in the evening in NYC?

Read Front and Finish magazine in her hotel room, of course!  Okay, so that's what I did.  Oh, and I got to bed early.  With a full time job and a pre-schooler, I miss sleep.  Sweet sleep.  But I digress.  

One of the articles I read (written by Kathy Lang) was about being clear and consistent about what you expect of your dog.  I am really trying to be the best handler and trainer I can.  I get that using the same command for different behaviors, or a different command for the same behavior, is confusing.  I thought I was being consistent.  Until I started to do the exercise listed in the article.  

This exercise involves of writing down every command (hand signals, verbal, etc.) that you use, or intend to use, with your dog AND writing down what you want this command to mean.  Since I had some time on my hands, and my laptop, I started a spreadsheet (I'm a bit addicted to Excel) with each of the commands I use with Ziggy.  I included "around the house" commands like "leave the kitty" and obedience, rally, and agility commands.  Then I started to add some definitions.  

I'm not done with the list yet (I'm up to 75-ish commands), but I can already see some areas of inconsistency/overlaps in commands that I'll need to fix.  If I can figure out how to attach a pdf to my blog, I'll post the list when I'm finished and have cleared up the overlaps.

This one's really got me thinking, though.  I need to clean up my act....

1 comment:

  1. You know, Lani, that's really a good exercise for us humans. Just a quick thought about it made me realize I call Chase: Chase, Chaser, Chase-man, Chase-puppy, good man, junior, good boy, bud, cute boy. I'm amazed he does any exercise for me -- aside from the fact that I am the dispenser of all good treats, and I keep the command words consistent. Yes, my act needs a good scrubbing as well.


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