Recently I had an update to my operating system on my computer. After the update I processed a photo and posted it. I looked at the post from another computer; it looked terrible. I quickly deleted the post.
I re-posted the photo and asked what people saw. The feedback lead me to have to figure out why they were seeing different then what I saw. All things pointed to the update as the point things changed. I searched through my settings trying to find how to fix it. After a bit of searching I found a place that I could manually calibrate my monitor. I now have it back so things look reasonable on different monitors.
This got me to thinking about working dogs and how it can actually be similar. Yes, it seems like a silly comparison but that is how my brain functions.
So your question; how does this even compare? It is rather simple. Each time we train something new it is like updating the operating system. If we only look at what we have added, by training, and do not test the things that we thought were set we will find things change in the dogs mind. Things we thought were set is looked at with the new information in a different way.
One reasonably common example of this is, a dogs outrun changing when the handler begins teaching driving. Handlers get so excited about driving that they work on it all the time. They never check the other settings. After a while they need to gather stock. They send the dog only to find the outrun has shortened or tightened up.
Another example might be a handler working on cleaning up flanks. They get so focused on the shape of the flank that they forget its purpose. They develop a dog that begins flanking without thinking about balance so it just circles.
The list of possible examples could be long. The simple point is that each time we get focused on training (updating) we must go back and review what they already know. By reviewing, we can see how all of the training is working together and be sure we are not changing important settings.
Teaching and reviewing keep us on task and make for balanced training.
Each time you update check the current settings.
The photo above is my test photo after rechecking my settings. A recent shot of my young dog, Bull. He is testing my ability to update and check my settings on both computer and the training field.