Tick, tock… class is starting

Pflouff’s first puppy class is tonight — and I’m almost embarrassed to take her! I’ve done sooo little. Oh, a session of this and a session of that, but definitely not what I should have done prior to class. Since I call her Pflouff and Jay is persisting with TenTen, she doesn’t even know her name!

I’m looking forward to the class (though I wish I were completely anonymous). It’s a drop-in format, so the other puppies could have already attended other classes. That’s good in a way, because it makes it harder to compare your puppy to others. Less pressure.

Just the same, I have to get focused. This baby is food motivated and smart — and the clock is ticking! It will also be a lot easier around here when she learns basic English. (Com on, Jenni! We have to get cracking!)

Long ago I created some worksheets to help me organize and keep records on my training. I decided to use this one to plan what days I would work on what behaviors. (You might think this is laid out oddly, and it is, because this isn’t what I originally used it for.)

I wrote the behaviors in a list in the large fields on the left. On the slanted lines at the bottom, I put the day and date. I’m going to color in the square in the appropriate column when I work on a behavior that day. Originally I thought I would plan out a whole week ahead, but I decided not to do that. Instead, I’ll just keep an eye on the chart at large, so I can see how often I’m working on various behaviors.

For individual behaviors, I have this worksheet. It’s pretty straightforward. I just list the criteria I’m working on in a particular session and then record the number of reps/errors. I don’t keep records all the time, even though I find that my training is MUCH better when I do. However I want to work on a lot of different behaviors right now, and so I don’t know how I’ll keep up with them, if I don’t keep records.

Quick weekend update: Pflouff is doing fine. Jay played primary caretaker for a number of hours yesterday afternoon so I could take a nap. It was lovely to get some deep sleep. Pflouff is great at night, but I still have to sleep with one ear listening for her. That means not only is my sleep interrupted, but it’s not very deep or restful. So yesterday was a blessing.

Jay is home this entire week, so he’ll be able to help me manage Aslan (if he’s in a growly mood) when I need to move everyone around, and he’ll be able to entertain Miss Pflouff when I need to be on a work phone call.

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