My training doesn’t always go smoothly! Especially since I don’t practice every single day. And sometimes a few weeks will go by between practice for certain tricks, like hoop jumping. Plus, I confess sometimes I get lazy and don’t perfectly perform tricks I already know well, like waving bye-bye or turning around.
There are a bunch of reasons why I may not be performing a trick well, even if I already learned it. And when that happens, my human and I have to modify our approach to my training.
The first thing we do is take two steps back. A lot of my more sophisticated tricks, like touching things or my double paw high five required a series of steps to learn. So we take two steps back. Like for touching things, if I won’t do it, she’ll bring out my bell and have me ring it. Or with the double high five, she’ll have me do my sitting up trick. Then after some practice, we’ll work back up to the trick I wasn’t performing well. Usually this gets me back on track pretty quickly.
The other thing we do is make sure we are having fun. Because my training is supposed to be a fun game for both of us to enjoy. I love spending time practicing tricks and getting treats and praise. I mean, who wouldn’t? And in the long run, that’s way more important than doing the trick perfectly.
And you know what? Taking a couple of steps back to reassess the situation, and making sure you are having fun are also two really important life hacks for humans! Who knew cat training could also apply to human training? We kitties sure are smart, aren’t we?
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