Looking for Progress and NOT Perfection

So I wanted to write a quick blog about something that I see is a problem in dog training and that is when the handlers are constantly looking for perfection when training..

In other words the finished article / behaviour.

For example :

Loose lead walking / walking to heal.

The perfect sit and wait.

The instant recall.

The perfect agility run.

Ignoring other animals.

What needs to be looked for first when training with our dogs is..

๐ŸพIs the training fun for the dog?

๐Ÿพ Is my dog (and me) in the right frame of mind to train and are we happy?

๐Ÿพ Can my dog Focus in this environment to do what I’m asking him to do?

๐Ÿพ Have I got everything I need to hand, for example the correct rewards for that situation?

A happy, focused dog is one that’s ready to learn!

If you’ve answered yes to the above questions then your ready to start. If the answer is no to any of the above then it is really important these are worked on first.

When I train my dogs it’s not ever about the end result to start off with. All I’m looking for is an improvement from the previous session.

We see this in classes, the handlers soon get disheartened or even frustrated when the dog doesn’t perform the way they think they should 1st time.

Firstly when I ask my dog to do anything it is always a QUESTION rarther than a command .. It may not come out of my mouth like this, more likely a single cue word but this is what I mean;

Can you sit?

Can you walk nicely next to me?

Can you have a go at Agility with me?

Can you focus and listen to me around any distractions?

It may seem a little odd to some people when reading this, however dog ownership to me is about building a relationship and a bond between you and your dog. When you get that bit right there really is nothing better!

The relationship you have with them is at the heart of all of your dog training. Whether that’s recalling to you in a busy park, walking nicely by your side or winning at agility.

Let me first tell you a little secret…

Are you ready because not a lot of people know it…

Ready…..

OK I’ll let you in ๐Ÿ˜‰…..

FUN… Relationship, Confidence, Optimism, the Correct Reward structure and looking for PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION when you train your dog is what will get you the results you desire!

Too often in training people are so focused on the end result that they miss all the vital information the dog is telling them in that situation.

Maybe the dog is finding the environment challenging.

Maybe your reward structure doesn’t really cut it for your dog, so they are seeking their own fun.

Maybe your asking too much for the stage they are at.

The list goes on!

When setting out on your training each session, look for the positives, look for the progress.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and when you see all these people with dogs that ‘just do it’ they have done it through lots of positive training built up over time being consistent with their training.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but you do have to actually consistently put time into your dog training.

This is where our games come in….

They are only 3 MINUTE games…

Train for a good time.. Not a long time!!

Surely you can find a few pockets of 3 minutes each day? Do this and your training and your relationship will sky rocket!

Each time I train my dogs I look at EVERYTHING. Where we are in our training plan, what the environment is like, what frame of mind we are both in, what rewards I have… Absolutely everything gets looked at so I can have a realistic view on what goes right and what goes wrong.

Dog Training is a journey and I’m afraid it’s one that your never done on! There will always be something new to work on.

When I have done any kind of training I have a evaluation of how it went, what worked and went well and if there were bits that didn’t, can I understand why and improve on that next time? This is so important!

You then have a clear idea for the next session what you want to work on and how you can improve and progress!

If you’d like more training tips or to join us in a class, check out the relevant pages on this website.

Happy Training ๐Ÿพ

Play… Train… Enjoy… Succeed ๐Ÿพ

Katrina.

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