Frustration can stem from such different things ……. time management . mismatched expectations , communication breakdowns and exhaustion.
This week, I had three very different clients that all experienced frustration!!!!!!
Meet Bronte, she is a puppy farm rescue. Bronte is very fearful of energy coming into her personal space. Approaching her, picking her up, putting on the lead, trying to train using hand signals, is nigh on impossible for the owner since this all involves eye contact and her owner placing energy or stress on her. Our saving grace is that Bronte loves security … what you say …. if you stay very still she will approach and if you don’t manhandle her, she will come onto your lap and after a length of time accept handling , move too fast and she is off your lap .
So you can imagine the owners conflict, between having a dog that loves being on your lap ..but once off your lap, will not respond to any commands or allow you near her without sitting down again. The owners desire to help her is huge …. however Bronte’s trust is very small at this moment.
The first thing we worked on was that approaching the owner when they are standing or crouching is a good thing, that their hands bring good things .
Here is a short video
This owner is doing a great job .. you can understand her frustration too
Meet Billie. She is full of the “joys of life” and is very “happy go lucky”. She is fast to learn and keen to test all boundaries you have set. In fact her keenness, her ability to pick things up so quickly, the fact that she is always looking to engage with you, to assist in whatever the owner is doing or to investigate the finer workings of everything around is frustrating. Mix this with a busy lifestyle and large work load and it is getting frustrating for both owner and dog.
Billie’s owner did the smart thing and enrolled in the Walk and Train program.
I was so delighted for them both then Frustration struck again!
Billie’s owner wrote to tell me he has been flat out at work and his time planning meant he had got Billie out for a walk but no training. He was deflated, frustrated and stressed. I love this gentleman and his honesty.
He is taking the time to forward plan and manage his work life balance to fit Billie in.
He did not quit on the course to make time.
He did not blame Billie.
…… I look forward to showing you his progress………….
My third client is a determined young woman, who did not want to wait for an Assistance Dog. Who decided, she would train her dog to assist her herself .. she would take it through all the training and assessment needed, to allow her dog to be registered as an assistance dog and have access to traveling with her anywhere.
Wow …. This little puppy, Kai, has a lot to live up to. This owner is motivated .. she is very kind and realistic .. she knows what she can physically do and she is getting great training. She does everything that is asked of her. So can you imagine when she is given a skill to train and it is an” epic fail”
Her words……The trust, she has to place in others advice,the time it takes to communicate what is working and not, waiting for the trainer to reply… That sometimes skills has to broken down into stages for her to teach in order to arrive at the same point. Very Frustrating
Kai is doing very well, under this owner’s patient, clear instruction .
So three stories, three sets of frustration…..
Now please, List your training frustrations……. what is the biggest contributing factor ……..
- time management
- mismatched expectations.. what is appropriate at this age
- lack of knowledge of how to train, what you need
- motivation ..
Most owners fall into the Time Management Frustration group…. the solution is very achievable……
We want our dogs to learn new skills/ habits and maintain these throughout their lives …….. maybe that starts with us creating new habits too .
Getting a great trainer , creating a honest relationship with them ….. acknowledging you need help .. setting time apart … Great Trainers will work with you to create programs where training becomes part of your own routine ,accepting that a great dog is not made in one session. All these should help you reduce this frustration and allow you to focus on your dog and your successes together.
Training should be fun …
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