More About Training Errors – Opportunities To Learn

Remember how I recently wrote a blog post about how to avoid making mistakes while training? Well,…

So I was working with Tommy on the Balance Beam this week and we all know how when I make a mistake I will own up to it and usually post what happened.

Well, this mistake is actually embarrassing to be honest. That is why I am not posting the whole video. Just the mistake parts. I couldn’t bring myself to show how long I went on with this mistake. Let’s just say it was for longer than the video I posted.

I think I was either distracted during the session or something else, I don’t know, but I definitely wasn’t paying attention. This is not great for progression of the training but is good for learning what NOT to do.

Listen, everyone makes training mistakes so I’m not going to pretend I’m perfect. So I’ll just own up to it and carry on. Another thing that you can do to minimize this is to try to be in a good frame of mind going into the training session. If you think there is a chance that you won’t enjoy yourself, postpone the session for another time or day.

Good luck and happy training!

To check out what silliness I was up to during the session, check out the video below.

4 thoughts on “More About Training Errors – Opportunities To Learn

  1. I was definitely subject to the same mistake when I was first training by boy Jack on a balance beam. It’s nice to see a professional isn’t afraid to admit they mess up once in a while! It’s funny how even the smallest distraction for a human can play such a big role in our dogs training.

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  2. What a great learning opportunity this is for others!

    I like to refer to mistakes as “learning points”, that is what we do in positive reinforcement training, right? Focusing on what went right and what can be improved (rather than “what went wrong”)

    I have a question (since I am an equine clicker trainer, not a dog trainer): Why are you using a lure instead of a target? I would think the lure/food is so enticing that it might distract the dog from his task (balance beam). When I watched the first part of your video I guessed that was the answer: a target stick instead of a lure (and holding it lower, so the dog stayed easily balanced).

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    1. Hi, thanks for your comment and question and to answer, a person could definitely use a target in place of a lure no problem. I don’t use one just because I just haven’t. No real reason. I have found though that some dogs get overly excited by the target and less so by the lure, take a look at my latest video targeting with a Boxer who is actually out of control in my opinion: https://youtu.be/VtHl99-7lzk
      The dog is extremely excited to nose the target and in lure training in some of my other videos she is not so much. So it depends on the dog. The dog in the Balance Beam video is quite timid so I am not worried about using the lure with him. But a target is definitely one option although if using a clicker it is one more thing to carry in your hands. Thanks!

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