I have a fairly mindless job. It is mostly routine and seldom requires much of my attention. So, my mind is free to wander and ponder. I do much of my best thinking while on the job.
Today I was thinking about where Gimme is at in her reactivity training and how our efforts are going in regards to the Public Dog class. I was thinking about the relapse in her abilities that was caused, or at least exacerbated, by her recent false pregnancy. I was thinking about what I've been doing long-term and in the recent short-term. I was thinking about my future plans to become a certified BAT Instructor. Naturally, that led me to think about the studying I've been doing to get ready for the BAT course in November.
All this thinking came together in a realization. All that has happened, the failings and the successes, the relapse and the progress... indeed, the issue itself... it all relates to issues with space. (thus, with my fondness for Star Trek, the title popped into my head)
BAT uses distance as the main reward for the dog making good choices. A BAT training set-up manages distance very carefully. And by "set-up", the intention is always to set the dog up for success. So:
- First, the dog must be well-under threshold,
- Yet, close enough to notice the trigger,
- And, having a decision to make,
- Still, able to choose well, and
- Then, is rewarded with more distance (which relieves even the slight pressure regarding the distant trigger).
Thus the title for this post: "Space, the Final Frontier"
- Space is about "distance", which is both important for where we are and where we need to go...
- Final refers to the "decisive" factor...
- and Frontier is another word for a "new field of learning" for both of us.