You’ve enrolled your dog in a obedience program at a local pet store that meets once a week - you’re excited to get started this new journey of building a bond with your dog through training. You should be! It is one of the most important investments you can make in your dogs future. Every week you attend your class and achieve lesson with gold stars! At the end of the program, your dog has earned their certificate and you couldn't be more proud.
Don't Stop There.
Some people in the class rant and rave about how successful it has been for their dog. But for others… the class didn’t go so well. Their dog has learned some new commands and made progress over that time, but … it’s just not enough. They are still uncontrollably excited around new people, other dogs, and new environments or maybe your dog could never stay focused on you long enough to actually learn the commands.
For the dog who was really successful in the program, Don’t Stop There. You’ve worked hard to get there. Your dedication and consistency has paid off! Push yourself and your dog to the next level. Research new enrichment games, learn new tricks, achieve off-leash freedom! There are so many ways to reach your relationships maximum potential.
For the dog owners who attend these classes and leave feeling defeating, overwhelmed, or discouraged, Don’t Stop There. Whether you’re dealing with hyperactivity, reactivity, or anxiety, there is always a way to tap into their brain. On paper, dog training is easy. It’s the emotions that we feel while training our dog that is, in fact, quite hard. Continue to research training methods and approaches. Find the one that fits into your beliefs and go for it. Remember, you are doing what you believe is BEST for your dog. No two situations are alike - so be patient, open minded, and seek unbiased advice that will truly benefit your dog’s future.
The canine industry can be a nasty place. From polar opposite approaches to blatant bullying and shaming, it can really steal the joy from dog owners. So how can you avoid those feelings? By choosing to continue educating yourself on training methods and various other approaches to canine care, you find joy in simply knowing that you are doing your best. And by all means… Do not compare your dog to another - the only grading scale is their own progress. Take each day and find the positive, build on that, and watch your dog flourish.
Simply, Don’t Stop There.