Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Training Goals

"What are your goals of training your Shiba?"

This was asked on the Shiba Inu Forum and made me take some time to really think about it. Sometimes we are too focused on an individual command or trick, we forget to look at the big picture. It's nice to have a moment to really think about the goals, so we can have a better understanding of what we really want to achieve as well as the purpose. I broke my training goals down to two parts, the necessary ones and the nice to have ones. 

Maya learned how to "sit" the first day home

Necessary goals:
  • Well socialized: We want to be able to leave her at doggie daycare/boarding when we need to travel; or if anything unfortunate happens to us, she can easily find a new loving home.
  • Good manners: So that she's welcomed to friends' homes or wherever dogs are allowed.
  • Bite inhibition: For apparent reasons, plus if someday we decide to have a baby, we can have one less thing to worry about.
  • Tolerate handling/touching: So that we can easily groom her and have stressless vet visits. 
  • Confident: So she can have a good quality of life, not being fearful of new things or anxious when left alone.
  • Good recall: In case of emergencies, and also allowing us to take her to off-leash hikes and beaches.
  • No resource guarding against humans.

Not necessary but nice to have goals:
  • Something to show-off: doggie tricks.
  • Fun activities to do together: fetch, agility, rally, etc. 
  • Pee/poop on command: she got the peeing part, but pooping will be hard, even for humans, lol.
  • No resource guarding against other dogs: kind of hard to train as she's the only dog, but if we plan on getting another dog, this is something we'll need to work on.

Maya graduated from puppy class at 4 months old

So far, I give ourselves an "A-" on the necessary goals, though the breeder should take most of the credit. I always consider ourselves really lucky. Maya came with really good temperament and I was able to be with her almost 24/7 during her first few months to correct any bad behaviors. So even though she's a so-called "hard to train" Shiba, the basic trainings were never that much of a challenge. The tons of socialization during her early months also really paid off, thanks to the breeder who kept emphasizing the importance. We still need to work a bit harder on her recall, as well as her occasional leash pulling and jumping.

As for the nice to have goals, we'll probably only get a "C". Before bringing her home, I did plan to keep going to classes with her. However, after the bad experience at Petsmart and realizing that taking her to dog parks is easier for socialization, we kind of stopped there. It's part of my new year resolution to cut the slack and take on a few more classes/activities with her.

No comments:

Post a Comment