So for the heck of it, I did a little surface research to see if Criteria is mentioned in common training definitions.
GENERAL DEFINITION OF TRAINING*
First, I looked up the general term 'Training' and found two relevant, accurate and interchangeable definitions for human & dog training. The definitions are 1) "acquiring of skill: the process of teaching or learning a skill or job." 2) training is an organized activity aimed at imparting information and/or instructions to improve the recipient's performance or to help him or her attain a required level of knowledge or skill.
While there were some great key words used, the word Criteria was no where to be found.
DEFINITION OF DOG TRAINING*
Next I looked up the term Dog Training. Dog training is defined as - a standardized program of training for dogs calculated to give owners mastery of their dogs at all times.
OK, I can't help the sarcasm and getting a little off topic here, but REALLY?!?! That was the best definition Websters & Wikipedia and other referral sources could come up with? I'll have to devote yet another blog post to this topic called 'What IS Dog Training'
READING BETWEEN THE LINES
While the word Criteria was not specifically used in any of these definitions, words like...
- Process - a series of actions directed toward a specific aim
- Instruction - a spoken or written statement of what must be done
- Skill - A skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both
- Knowledge - all the information, facts, truths, and principles learned throughout time
- Calculate - to consider a situation carefully and decide what is likely to happen
THE HOLY GRAIL OF DOG TRAINING - CRITERIA
All of the above (Process, Instruction, Skill, etc.) uses Criteria as a means to obtain the wanted outcome. Think about it, Criteria is the necessary base to train specific behaviors. Need further proof, how about all of the pros use it (agility, baseball, football, etc.) so why shouldn't you?
Give Criteria some thought as it deserves attention when it comes to dog training. As a little tidbit, something to remember is that in dog training, Criteria is a bunch of small little steps that ultimately make up a specific end-behavior.
I'll be writing more about criteria, but in the meantime, ask yourself "Can you define what the expectations are for your dog in a factual and logical manner? Do you have a clear and concise blue print to work or train by?."
If you answered 'No' then you need to add Criteria to your tool box. Not sure how? Well stay tuned for more on Criteria!
*On-line references used: Websters, Wikipedia & Encarta