Dog training happens moment by moment. The desire to rehearse is so tempting… You want to practice your technique before using it with your dog — but training changes so quickly. Your dog has different needs from one moment to the next. And we as trainers have to adapt to meet the dog where he is in that particular moment.
For new trainers and handlers, that moment can be elusive and challenging. What am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to do it? What do I do next? What do I do when my dog does ‘fill-in-the-blank’?
There is no recipe for dog training. So what can you do? You can pay attention — to your dog, to yourself, to your surroundings. You can remember to breathe. You can watch for how your dog responds to you.
You can also begin to keep an image in your mind of what result you’re looking for from your efforts. Are you looking to stop something or start something up? Are you asking your dog to be calm and steady or all-out excited about something?
Remember: Emotions are your path to success. Motivation is the root of responsibility.
But what about the most important part? The piece that pulls it all together? Your training moment is right in front of you, just waiting for you to engage and light that magic spark where you and your dog connect and make progress toward your goals.