Friday, February 3, 2012

Creating a List of Accomplishments

It's really easy to remember all the horrible stuff your dog has done.  Those events can make you sad, angry, frustrated, or even laugh about it now. At family or friend gatherings people love to tell the "my dog did something worse" stories.  We don't tell as many "my dog is the best" stories, they're not quite as entertaining.

We introduced the List of Accomplishments in the first round of Shy Dog Class and just got to that part in our second Shy Dog Class.  Students are prompted to write out a list of all the really great things their dog has done/learned since being in their home.  

Being calm while kids are playing. Making an appearance during a family gathering. Settling on a mat during a family dinner. Going for a happy walk. Not barking at the sudden appearance of a person.

For my own shy dog, things like "jumping on visitors" are on her list.  It was an important moment when she finally felt safe enough to enthusiastically go up to a visitor.

It's important that we have these lists so we can monitor our progress and keep working towards further accomplishments.  When our dog has a bad day, or when we have a bad day, we want to be able to reference this list instead of the easily-remembered not-so-great lists!

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