Measuring Progress
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Thread: Measuring Progress

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2018
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    4

    Measuring Progress

    We’ve had our six month old puppy 6 weeks and I’m struggling to see what progress we’ve made and where we are going wrong (or right). He’s still petrified of traffic (pulls towards the road alarmingly) barks at strangers and wets himself if gets approached by other dogs. Although he does all of these things he doesn’t do them in every situation, however I can’t work out a pattern so that I can build on the times he doesn’t react, it’s literally random?! Has anyone been in a similar situation with a good news story and how you did it? 🙏

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Canyx's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    7,106

    Re: Measuring Progress

    Progress is never, or rarely ever, linear. So you shouldn't expect things to only get better and better. There are days when things can be better than expected, or worse than expected.

    I would expect any good training plan to start working immediately. As in, I expect to see progress towards the behaviors I want in a single training session. But I wouldn't expect overall behavior to permanently change in one session. Then what you should start to see is change over time. I think expecting consistent change over a period of a week or even a few days, if you're consistently working on it and *preventing practice of unwanted behavior*, is reasonable. But generally, you should either start seeing an unwanted behavior decrease in frequency (how often it happens), or in intensity (it happens but not as bad as it was before). Subsequently, you should start to see an increase in desirable behavior too.

    This isn't something that's set in stone and one of the hardest parts about dog training is judging progress, or lack of progress, and changing your training plan accordingly. Training isn't about throwing your dog into situations and hoping behaviors change. It's about setting up an environment for maximum success.

    So for your situation specifically, let's say he pees sometimes when he is approached by a dog and you don't want that to happen... Well I would not let dogs approach him for the time being, and reward calm from afar. How could you train calm when he's already peeing? You can't. I would then work closer and closer to dogs. This is easily done in a semi-predictable training environment like a city park where people's dogs are on leash. Petrified of traffic... I wouldn't be working that close to traffic yet and instead of build up.
    Soro - 4.22.06 - retriever/X
    Braeburn - 1.29.17 - Dutch shepherd

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