Small Steps In Dog Training And In Life
Since this is my last blog post of 2016 I thought I would be a bit philosophical and discuss life as it is represented by dog training.
I don’t usually feature videos on Friday, but this one inspired me because it is very useful to those of us who are working towards goals and larger end results.
Training a dog usually has an end result in mind such as a well behaved and well adjusted dog, lower stress level in the house or even taking part in competition. Everyone has a different result that they wish for.
Disc Dog or Canine Disc was the first dog sport that I was involved with. When I started down the path with Kuvaszok, I did not intend for them to play frisbee. But, like many things, it was a lesson to me that any dog can learn just about anything.
Now I have a puppy who likes retrieving. We are working step by step towards ONE goal – catching a disc with the big picture result of demonstrating that all dogs can learn to do anything. We are not at the catching point yet, as shown in the video, and we are just working on retrieving the disc in a slightly larger area.
This is so important for the dog to learn – to do the retrieve well in small spaces first.
It is also important for the human to remember that small steps count. In fact they are really the fastest way to get anywhere you want.
I find that with dog training, making big steps results most often in going backwards at some point because I have gone too fast. If you go too fast, you will inevitably have to do some re-training. If you miss a step your dog might learn it, but not as well as if you go slower.
Better to go slow and take one step at a time.
For me, this applies to most things in life as well. Rushing anything usually brings about mistakes or a job poorly done. I have done this many, many times and still have to remind myself almost daily.
If you want to train your dog go step by step and reward heavily. If you want to accomplish something in your life do that same thing. Most importantly keep your most important values in mind when deciding on a goal. Goals are just a step to a larger result. Keep the big picture in mind but do the many steps in between.
Now go and give your dogs a big scratch from me and Happy Training!