Learning Project: My Final Week

Learning Project: My Final Week

New Learning

Throughout the week, I have felt that my training has been going very well. The strategies that I have outlined in my very first post have worked incredibly well. So, I did not feel that I necessarily needed a new strategy to employ this week in my training. Instead, the research I did this week was more related to my future training rather than present. I have addressed distractions, making time, and keeping motivation in dog training, but I have not fully looked in to why this is important. I feel that in order to stay on track in training and take the initiative to continue expanding the types of tricks I am teaching, I should understand why training is really important.

During my research, I came across the article 8 Reasons Why Dog Training Is So Important posted on Healthy Pet. I really liked this article because it was easy to read, and many of the things related to my dogs and the goals I have for them in training long term. I have outlined the 8 reasons below.

  1. Training teaches good behaviour – I totally agree with this, I have noticed such a big change in my dogs over the past few weeks. The differences in their behaviours are not only visible in the tricks they are learning, but also in their overall obedience.
  2. Training creates opportunities for safe spaces – This reason was primarily in relation to crate training, but I think it can apply elsewhere as well. Training seems to help create trust between the owner and the dog, potentially making a dogs owner their safe space.
  3. Training builds confidence – When using positive reinforcement to train, the dog becomes more willing to try new things. I have noticed (especially in Apollo) that my work training one area has made other tricks I have tried outside of this project much easier to teach. My dogs are so much more willing to try because they know they will be loved up even if they do not do the trick correctly.
  4. Training keeps dogs safe – I do not think there is much I need to add to this one. When a dog listens they are much easier to bring back to their owner if they were to ever be in danger. This is SO important to me.
  5. Training prevents bad habits – When dogs are constantly training, it helps to keep their brains busy. I learned that boredom often leads to behaviours like chewing on things. So, training is key in avoiding these behaviours by both keeping a dog stimulated and setting expectations.
  6. Training supports toilet training – this is not applicable to my dogs right now, but I will definitely be keeping it in mind in the future.
  7. Training teaches safe socialization – Both Scout and Chex have been good around other dogs, but Apollo has always been very nervous in social situations. I am looking forward to trying some more social training strategies with him in the future.
  8. Training builds a bond – I agree completely with this statement. My connection with my dogs has never been stronger than it is right now.

I will absolutely be keeping these important reasons for training in mind as I navigate training outside of this project.


Chex: This week we have continued working on nose targeting. She has continued to excitedly place her nose on my hand, and I have noticed she is not licking it as much as she has been previously. I am so proud of Chex for accomplishing this trick. She is consistent with responding to the command, whether it is from me or another member of my family.

Scout: This week Scout has began weaving through my legs with one continuous lead. Instead of receiving a treat after each weave, he is able to weave three times before taking the treat. I still have to use my hand to lead him through, but this progress is a huge step.

Apollo: This week we have continued to work on recall in the backyard. Apollo has been doing really well with this. Our practice has turned into fetch a little bit because I throw a ball away from me and he runs to it. Once he is at the ball I call him back for a treat. He has been doing so well at this. This week I also worked on some other tricks, like sitting, shaking a paw, and laying down. He caught on to this so quickly.

Progress Update Video

Below is a video of each dogs progress. In this video Apollo is seen sitting and doing other tricks rather than his recall. He still becomes easily distracted when training recall in the yard if a camera is introduced, so I decided to showcase some other things we have been working on. I feel his recall training has set the foundation for many other types of training, as this can clearly be seen by his progress in other areas.


5 thoughts on “Learning Project: My Final Week

  1. Hello Bridget, the progress your dogs have made is amazing!! I feel that a lot of the time we don’t take the time to sit back and think about why we are doing something, especially use teachers. We just think to teach students certain concepts because that is the goal. However, we are teaching the students for their futures, and it is important for us teachers to keep that in mind.
    Great learning project, I really enjoyed following along with you, Chez, Apollo, and Scout!

    1. Hi Avery! Thank you so much for your kind words! I think this was a great project as it showed me the whole process of teaching something start to finish. Looking back on progress is so fun, I am so proud of each dog!

  2. Hi Bridget!

    Thanks for sharing your dogs’ progress this week! Training one dog can be tough, so handling three must be really challenging! You’ve done an amazing job!! I watched your progress video, and tried the weaving-through-legs trick with my pup and it wasn’t easy at all haha! It’s great to see your dogs improving and staying mentally engaged—it’s so important. When I’m working on my learning project, my pup always brings me his ball to play and asks for attention, which makes me so sad. After this course, I’m determined to spend more time with him and teach him new tricks. Your videos of teaching your dogs new tricks have inspired me to try some with my dog too! Thank you so much 🙂

    1. Hi Mariia! Thank you for following my dog training journey over the semester! I appreciate your support through this!! I love that you are going to spend more time training you dog, I have found so much joy in doing it.

  3. Hello Bridget,
    The original post that started your learning project was titled, “Can You Teach Old Dogs New Tricks?” Having observed your progress, it’s clear the answer is a definite yes. Your video updates have been a delight to watch, showcasing your beautiful and intelligent pups. Your journey has provided me with fresh insights on training my own dogs. I appreciate you sharing your experiences. This was an excellent idea for a learning project.

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