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Canine Training Strategy vs Brain Waves
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Sept 27, 2014 easy day except for working on regular daily routines, airing is going well, feeding is on schedule and Pounce knows "what's up".....except her little puppy mind is often going 90 miles per hour....her "conversation" has recently become a bit annoying so we are working on that. She knows what "quiet" means, but slips into "test mode"....often. At the moment, she is discovering how to get peanut butter out of the depths of a pig's hoof.
note: When she tires with that we may do a little work in the yard.
note: Recently I have discovered that a small wire crate in a quiet, semi-dark,
upstairs room with a fan blowing puts her into useful, tranquil intervals.
A rested brain is easier to fill and the first five minutes of a session are the
most important. There are different kinds of brain waves...with some better
suited for effective learning
rationale: Many years ago when teaching physics, the normal routines of most teachers were to get the students seated, calm them down and take attendance. All this took time
away from actual teaching. In a way, this poor consumption of time to do simple
housekeeping was counter-productive to the proper use of the moment.
Whenever a person makes a rather abrupt change in activity, brain waves undergo changes. A new, sudden change like taking a break allows the brain to switch gears and refresh which in turn provides a new, small window for higher level thinking. Therefore, my students would "hit the floor running" the moment the bell rang. Several productive things took place. Very few students were ever late.....knowing they would miss something. The initial lessons were almost always more effective. And lastly, the task of taking attendance later provided the brief break required to alter brain waves and move into the second phase of the day's lessons.
Brain waves are altered (for the better) and the first five minutes of a session often proved to be the most effective. After that, the edge dramatically decreases. Teaching becomes less effective because brain waves change. However, if there is a large enough change in what is being done, the brain will recover for a short period. The result made questions, explanations and conclusions more meaningful. Establishing context with perspective alters expectations.
It is said that dogs do not think like humans. They are more linear in function and often motivated to react in to a specific stimuli depending of previous experiences. However, they do have brain waves similar to humans. Teaching with learning is more effective after resting.
Therefore, when training a dog it is important to be cognizant of brain activity and attempt to optimize the effective moments. Short lessons with brief rests in between are more effective than long, drawn out drills. Once again, the "short and sweet" descriptor defines this best.
The key component is to think in terms of effective brain waves and timing.
Optimize the moments and do not waste the first five minutes. Rest briefly at regular intervals and make each change distinct.
Frankly, I think I am doing just that with Pounce. I'm sure her training will improve if I continue to review what is happening and why it is working.
note: Fast forward a few years.
The above was originally written in conjunction with the initial training of Pounce. Now that the Hillmann program is better understood, the application will be simpler. The recent early work with "Gigi" seems to be greatly enhanced by this better understood simple, focused approach.
note: refer to the Pounce/Gigi's February '19 training journal