What My Greyhound Taught Me About Nailing Audience Needs

What My Greyhound Taught Me About Nailing Audience Needs
Wendy Thomas - Fri Sep 11, 2009 @ 03:42AM
Comments: 11

Years ago, I adopted a retired racing Greyhound. He arrived at my house with the name Busted Suitcase which I quickly changed to Dana once the paperwork was signed. Photo credit: kjunstorm

Dana was a lovely, gentle, and devoted dog. He was as protective of me as I was of him. I wanted to make up for the two years he spent at the track and he was nothing but appreciative of the new sweet life. We took walks, he slept on my couch. He became my baby.

One day I decided to take Dana to an obedience class. Dana was the oldest dog in the class the rest being puppies.

The first command was “Sit”. Just press on the dog’s rump as you issue the command the instructor told us. Getting a puppy to sit is a piece of cake; you use your index finger to push the tiny little tush down.

Getting a greyhound to sit is another matter. Greyhounds are good runners because they have muscle. Lots of it. I would position my entire weight on the back end of my dog as I firmly told him “Sit” but nothing would happen.

Instead Dana would kick me off like a mule into the cinder block basement wall. Time and time again. I even ended up in a leg cast from a smashed knee.

While all the other little puppies had moved on to “Down” and “Stay”, Dana and I were left behind still working on “Sit.”

Exasperated, I contacted the greyhound league. Why won’t my dog sit? I whined to them, what’s wrong with him?

He won’t sit because he’s trained not to sit, a woman told me. If a dog in their racing silks even thinks about sitting they get whipped. No one wants to see dirty silks. Your dog won’t sit because he thinks he’ll get punished.

I could have spent years trying to get my dog to sit and it just wasn’t going to happen. Because I didn’t have the background, despite my best intentions no real learning was every going to occur.

As an Instructional Designer, I could have had no better lesson on the importance of fully understanding my audience’s needs and limitations before I start any training. I can design the best learning series or write the best manual but if my audience is incapable of relating to it or doesn’t have the capacity to understand it, I might as well throw my money to the wind.

In the case of Dana? I modified my expectations (a sit wasn’t very important) and instead worked on skills that he could accomplish like “Come” and “Stay”. Eventually, both of us became successful Dog Obedience class students.

Comments: 11


1. Jonathan Kranz  |  my website   |   Tue Sep 15, 2009 @ 02:24AM

That's a great story, both as a personal anecdote and, metaphorically, a professional observation. You're right -- we cannot bring customers to do something they aren't inclined to do. Yet I see attempts at brute force all the time: How many envelopes must I receive with reminders that I can pay my bills online?

2. kelivin   |   Wed Aug 20, 2014 @ 06:05AM

Great Blog stories, i like it so much, keep updates regularly , i am always using http://couponcodes365.us and http://mrqe.us for my online shopping

3. Siva   |   Sat Aug 23, 2014 @ 02:16AM

Won wonderful blog, It s so great work, keep regular updates. i like it so much. My Blogs http://mrqe.in and http://www.seotraininginameerpet.in

4. merry   |   Wed Sep 03, 2014 @ 11:50PM

Thanks a lot for sharing the detailed list of Senate names of farm bill Conferees. Most of the members are new to me. This subject has interested me for quite some time. I have just started researching it on the Internet and found your post to be informative http://www.usafashiontv.com http://www.avignaseoservices.com and http://www.avighnaseosolutions.com

5. marry   |   Fri Nov 14, 2014 @ 08:30AM

your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, anine bing I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work,

6. waseem   |   Tue Apr 28, 2015 @ 11:56PM

Look for Motor Promotion or SEO is one of the most essential tools for online marketers for achieving more visitors on their website. http://www.littleblackpaws.com/

7. franklin   |   Wed Jun 24, 2015 @ 06:23AM

ive been examining this be able to support its how can i include your feed to my rss reader as i need to observe you Thanks

8. juegos   |   Sun Sep 06, 2015 @ 07:15AM

ive been examining this be able to support its how can i include your feed to my rss reader as i need to observe you Thanks

9. siva   |   Wed Sep 23, 2015 @ 02:04AM
10. bhgu   |   Wed Jan 06, 2016 @ 03:34AM

oko online yang menjual baju ukuran besar yang sangat sesuai untuk Anda yang mempunyai ukuran badan diatas XL baju ukuran besar ini tersedia dari 36 yaDiscount vapor code
Vape mods
Vape pen
Vape eliquid

11. klester   |   Thu May 19, 2016 @ 02:13AM

blog with more information. I have found it very useful. There have to be char

Survival Life Deals
Survive the end days
Surviving the final bubble
Survival Md
Family Survival System

powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Builder