Everything I Need to Know About Animal Training, I Learned in Kindergarten

As another school year begins, I reflect upon lessons learned throughout school. Kindergarten fundamentals are particularly poignant. Be Kind. Share. Wash your hands. Know your ABCs and 123s. These are some of life’s fundamentals learned in Kindergarten. These are also some of the fundamentals in animal training.

Like Aero, your dog can be an excellent student and teacher.

Like Aero, your dog can be an excellent student and teacher.

Be kind. First and foremost, do no harm when training your animal. Second, being clear and consistent about expectations is being kind. If your training is sloppy, you may frustrate both yourself and your animal. When you train your animal with humane and efficient skills, you train with kindness.

Share. Share your resources with your animal. Share enrichment in addition to providing a safe and comfortable living environment, complete with water and food. Share your experiences by taking them out and about. LIke Big Bird said, “Sharing is caring.”

Wash Your Hands. Metaphorically speaking, let go of past training mistakes. Learn from past mistakes and move on. Behavior is a moment in time. If you are having a bad day and are unable to change your animal’s behavior, stop and try again later. Review your training plan. Tomorrow is another day.

Know your ABCs and 123s. Antecedent + Behavior = Consequence. This is one of the fundamental training formulas. Apply this formula to your training challenges. 123s reflect time. How long will your training session be? How many training trials will you do? How is your timing between recognizing the desired behavior and rewarding your animal?

Wherever you are on your training journey, please keep these fundamentals in mind. If you need help advancing to the next grade, contact us at www.behaviorunited.com. Check out our Back to School classes! https://www.behaviorunited.com/group-classes