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Evaluate the Evidence

Dog training involves constant evaluation of the evidence.

ev·i·dence noun

  1. the available body of facts or information indicating whether [your dog training is progressing well or not] 😎

  • Synonyms: proof, confirmation, verification, substantiation, affirmation

In a certain environment... in a certain circumstance... what just happened? Without a goal, you can't score. Set a goal, evaluate the evidence, and score your work. Was it good? Was it bad? If it was good, how good? On a scale of 1-10, how good was it? If we are constantly scoring a 9 or a 10, then we're ready to increase the challenge and our training is progressing wonderfully. The training felt easy... the dog was wildly successful... and minimal/reasonable/acceptable input was required [by you] to achieve this incredible success. If it was bad, how bad? On a scale of 1-10, how bad was it? If it was a 5 or below, we absolutely do not want to continue repeating this challenge, because a 5/10 = 50% = we're failing. The training felt stressful and overwhelming... the dog may have had high energy... or was difficult to handle... and what you tried to implement was incredibly difficult to do... Dog training involves constant evaluation of the evidence. The "evidence" that we collect involves the observed dog behavior. Here is an example of evidence that you can collect.

  • Barking? Yes or No.

  • Intensity of the barking... ear piercing and forward, or under-the-breath

  • Duration of the barking... 3 barks or 37 barks

As you progress with your training, constantly evaluate the evidence provided to you [by your dog] on what was successful and worthwhile, and what was overwhelming and difficult. Don't keep repeating the overwhelming and difficult situations. Determine what you can change in order to improve future situations and environments. Then, make the changes and set a new goal... Keep evaluating the changes. Keep evaluating the evidence. Allow your training and expectations to evolve. All for now,


P.S. A huge shoutout to my mentor Mark McCabe!

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