Fotos Sabine Stuewer
Christiane Blenski
Achieving an aim using a pen: training diary

1. What shall your dog be able to do by all means? Reflect about three things you want to tackle in the near future: new games, walking your dog on a loose lead, silence in your car (no permanent barking) or whatever.

2. The very idea makes you feel good! Close your eyes and imagine how you and your dog treat one another happily and calmly and you are already able to put into practice the three things you have learnt. This little daydream is comfort food for your subconscious mind and motivates you to tackle the training. Today!

3. Make notes! Take a pen and a (nice!) notebook. Write your three aims in it and take down aside how often you will practice it (realistically!) and by when you will have achieved these aims (realistically!). It is often recommendable to take big aims into smaller sub goals.

4. Progress at a glance! Now draw one column for each training goal. There, you make notes of the state of affairs of each training. You write down what came off and add the date. In a little while, you will read about bigger and smaller successes in this book. You will be proud and given a new boost to really go on and praise your dog extensively for its progress.

By the way: don’t forget to take steps backwards! Do not expect miracles from your dog during the trainings. Take one, two, three steps backwards when training your dog – depending on the breaks from training. This means to start easily so you can praise your dog more quickly and motivate it to go on and work concentrated with you (for delicious food or short reward games). With good mood, calmness and the full attention of your dog, you will achieve the latest training level within a very short time – and even exceed it!