Continuing with Sit… two steps forward, one step back

Training sessions like today are why I always remind my students not to get too wrapped up in how their dog is coming along (in regards to the training). Things may be going along better than you could have hoped, and then it feels like you’re going backwards. Not every dog learns everything at the same pace as every other dog, and like us, dogs have off days too. It’s important not to get frustrated. No matter how things are going, stay upbeat, and just have fun being with your dog.

As you know, things were going swimmingly with Roo. Her first training sessions exceeded my expectations. She’s such a quick learner, and I love working with her. She’s a total hoot.

It’s been a few days since I was last able to devote some real time to working with Roo. I’d been busy with Green Party business (planning and hosting an Energy Policy Forum) that finally wrapped up last night. I was so happy to have some time to really work with my wee girl again.

Today we had a major set back. Roo was so giddy and happy to be clicking with me, that she had next to no focus. She was jumping all over the place, couldn’t hold a sit for more than a moment, spent half her time sniffing the ground. It would have been really easy to get frustrated or fed-up… but you know what? This wasn’t her fault. I hadn’t given her as much time from me as she needed, so she had all sorts of pent up energy. So we put away the clicker, and just had a crazy game of Chihuahua-style wrestling (and a whole lot of laughs).

Roo needed a chance to just be a goofy puppy with me. One-on-one. With nothing else competing for my attention. It was a good reminder for me. It’s easy to get caught up with how well your dog is doing when everything seems to be going right… but the whole reason we do any of this is because of how wonderful it is to spend time with our furry family members. Sometimes one step back can be a lot more fun than another step forward.

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