Last week was actually a fairly light training schedule for Brody and I.
Monday – Group Obedience and social walk
Wednesday – OB and Protection lesson with my training partners. Brody and I skipped group obedience class in the afternoon because he was exhausted from the morning training sessions.
Saturday – Club.
And obviously, our usual daily training sessions thrown in, but those are mostly a game of fetch or tug with some obedience thrown in…
I was reminded about something important this week by my trainer, Shelby. You see, I have this tendency to push and push and push to make things harder and harder. Mostly, Brody rises to the occasion and it’s fine, but realistically, there’s a limit. This is where Shelby’s involvement in our training process is so important – she kind of reins me in sometimes.
I’m a very competitive person, and with our first planned trial less than a month away, I’m having a hard time not grinding things out too much.
And it’s showing in my dog.
Fortunately, I have Shelby to step in to remind me that this is supposed to be FUN. Fun for me, but more importantly, fun for my dog.
As she told me on Saturday – “You don’t always have to make every session harder than the last. Just let you dog enjoy himself!”
And, that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of many reasons that I owe Shelby so much more than the money that I pay her.
Because she’s right. I got into this sport to give my dog an outlet. It was always supposed to be for his enjoyment. Unfortunately, I sometimes lose sight of that in my desire to be constantly improving.
In any case, Shelby was absolutely right. So our training schedule was pretty light for the week and Brody and I mostly messed around with the agility equipment in my backyard, went on walks like a pet dog, and went for an off-leash hike out in the Badlands where we saw absolutely no one – human or canine – for two blissful hours.
I need to be more conscious of finding that balance and realize that we aren’t on a timeline. It doesn’t matter when we trial or when we title – it’s supposed to be about the journey.
So, thanks for the reminder, Shelby!