Friday, April 18, 2008

You just never know...

Some training nights are excellent from start to finish. Canine and human minds meld. You and your dog are in sync, working hard and exploring new boundaries with success. The progress at the end of the session is tangible.

Then there are the sessions when everything falls apart. You go left, your dog goes right. You wonder if you've actually taught them anything. Even your feet betray you by sending your body crashing into a wall.

What I've found is that it isn't always possible to predict when the training will go smoothly or badly. Some of my best training was done after an awful day at work or when I was under the weather.

After more thought, I figure it all comes down to my state of mind and expectations for that day. Going into a class thinking it's going to be productive can actually be detrimental. At that point if something falls apart my frustration builds. I'm not good at hiding this from my dog. Frustration and training are never a good mix.

The solution to my problem is simple. Get sick before training. This will dull my eagerness for progress and allow me to ease up on my dog.

OK, so that might be a little extreme.

How about I continue to focus on keeping it fun? Exercise my self-control and stop myself from getting frustrated? Practice makes perfect!

Probably a better strategy, eh?

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