How To Keep Track Of Your Training
It is known that to get the most out of your training it is a good idea to keep track of each training session. In order to do so I have made these logs that helps me keep track of my dog's progress. Furthermore it helps me think out a plan on how to reach my goal.
You start out by making a year log containing what ever you want to do with your dog for the next year. It could be you want to start competition with your young dog or that you want to qualify for some big event. The next thing you need to do is to think about how you are going to reach that goal; evaluate what your dog can do now, what do you need to work on etc. Write it down in the year log.
Then you can fill out the month log; the month log is an overview of what you want to train each month in order to reach your year goal. You fill out the month log at the start of each month. You should not fill out month logs for the next 6 months since you do not know how fast your progress will be. A goal for a month could be to start the initial weave pole training, building value for the start line position or speeding up your dog's contact behavior.
When you know what to training it is time to think about how you are going to do it. Before each training session you fill out the training log. I think this is the most important one of the logs because it directly influences your training. When you fill out the training log think about what behavior you will reward. Be realistic about it - do not set your criteria to high. Also think about what you will do if the dog makes a mistake. You should also think about what the next step of the training should be.
You will be better prepared because you have thought these things through and it is less likely that something will catch you by surprise.
In your training session keep track of have many repetitions you make with the dog so you can calculate the success rate.
After the training session you fill out the rest of training log. You calculate the success rate and evaluate how it went; what went right or wrong, was your criteria to high or do you need to proceed to the next step?
I have also made a competition log. Even though I have most of my runs on video I like to full out a competition log as well. It helps me to think about what I need to train before next trail.
The four logs are available in both English and Danish. You can use the year and month log for all your dog activities. Training log and trail log are to specific to be used for other activities then agility. I hope you will find them useful.