Puppy Love!

My wife surprised me about two weeks ago with a new puppy. Frankie is our 10-week old French Bulldog.

My wife left on Thursday to visit our son in Arkansas and here I am trying to train this new dog. “Put that down!” “Don’t chew on that!” “You’re supposed to poop OUTSIDE!” “Don’t bite my face!” If he’s not sleeping, he’s into anything and everything. I’ll call him inquisitive!

What’s interesting is his response to my training. If I’m patient and offer positive reinforcement, he responds. If I’m tossing a fit and getting after him, he just gives me the “stupid human” look, grabs his toy and runs under the couch, knowing that I can’t reach him. He’s learned quickly, and so have I.

I’ve had to learn about Frankie. I’m learning his habits, monitoring his behavior, observing his temperament,  and correcting him as necessary and appropriate. At this point in his life, I can’t expect to him to know what to do or even how to do it. I have to be patient. I have to look for incremental improvement and call attention to it. If the training is effective, I’ve been effective and he’s been attentive. When things aren’t going well, I have to ask myself what I might be missing. I also have to take into consideration what he needs. Finally, the timing has to be right. If I wait too long and let things go, he’ll go!

So, lets think about the new employee or those going through significant change. I’m certainly not implying that we’re training dogs, but training is necessary. If we’re good trainers, learning is elevated and outcomes improve. If we suck as a trainer or coach – I really don’t care what you call it – progress will be slow and the outcomes will be diminished.

He’s sleeping now – finally!

Ah, Puppy Love!

I welcome your comments and encourage you to share!

Jake

P.S. Meet Frankie!

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