Thursday, December 30, 2010

I will not suck the joy out of training!

Yup, that's my new year's resolution and number one goal for 2011. Up until a couple weeks ago I thought my number one goal was obvious - to get the udx title. However, after reading Melinda's blog post about putting the joy back in training, I was reminded again about why I do this.

Although I try to make our training sessions fun, I sometimes get caught up in the frustration of trying to meet the performance and title goals I've set for myself and forget to relax and find the joy in training for Jackson and myself. This year I am committed to trying harder to find that joy. I didn't start out training with titles and placements in mind. I just wanted to try doing something different with my dogs that I thought would be challenging and fun. It is fun  and rewarding - which is why I'm hooked on obedience.

Another blogger - Fanny Gott - posted something recently that also really got me thinking. In her post she said, "I never ask my dog to work with me. My dog has to ask me to work with him. I don’t ask him to look at me or to come to heel. The dog has to take responsibility for those things if he wants to work." Wow, I've never thought about training in those terms - expecting my dog to ask me to work with him : )

Anyway, those two posts really got me thinking about what it is I want to accomplish with training my dog. I will of course be setting some less lofty goals, i. e., straighter fronts, better position in heeling, nicer finishes, but always trying to keep in mind my primary goal of making training fun!

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