Understanding how your dog was, and is being trained is vital.  Let me repeat that.  Understanding how your dog was, and is being trained is vital.   I’m being diplomatic here, because many of my friends, readers, and accomplices are doing exactly what I’m going to ask you not to do.  And, yes, they do it successfully, because if you go to the length of sending your dog away for training, you are probably getting someone very skilled.  Your dog (or puppy) will come home trained.  But what have you missed?  And, more importantly, how will you continue the dogs training?

In the Search & Rescue disciplines, handlers train with the dog they will handle.  In my experience, handling someone else’s partner is like picking up a brand new pistol and trying to shoot a perfect score on the range using the first 13 shots ever put thru the weapon.  It’s just not possible.  You don’t know the weapon, or it’s idiosynchrosis yet.   Only by personally using the gun will it finally give you the results you want.

Suppose two different Olympic Ice-skaters, trained individually for twenty years, suddenly decide they will compete together.  They decide to meet the Tuesday before the Olympics and work together for a couple of hours.  Will they come home with a Gold medal?  Silver?  Bronze?  No way.  They haven’t practiced together.  They have no clue how the other skates, reacts, or moves.  Individually, they are flawless, even poetic.  But becoming One on the ice, is earned only with time and discipline…

If you send your dog away to the finest Clicker-trainer for training, you will soon learn that your Timing is very different.  If you choose a more natural training approach, you will find that what you believe to be natural, may not reflect the Trainers approach.  If you choose Relationship based training, (as I hope you do)  you will find that the trainer you spent $500.00 with has a great relationship with your dog, but you have nothing.  And that’s the shortcoming of not being involved with your dogs training.

Learning with your dog takes time, effort, and discipline.  There are no shortcuts to success.  Learning together creates a trust and a connectivity with your dog that transcends ANY amount of outside influence.  Many have experienced having a dog trained separately from them, that simply will not respond in kind.  Think again of the ice skaters…

Sit down, lay out a plan for training that fulfills your Goals as a TeamDon’t plan it in a single linear path without possible detours.  Your dog, or you, may not be best suited for your original plan, so be ready to allow your goals to evolve.  For instance, you may have goals of titling a ScHIII schutzhund dog.  But training, and the advice of a good Trainer, may reveal that your dog just isn’t suited.  BUT, that dog may prove to be a Scent Following maniac…Pursue whatever the dog does best!!!  Make something of the situation!!!  Hands on Training, together, side by side with your dog, is something you will never regret…

 

 

All material contained in “The German Shepherd Adventures” blog site is copyrighted and the sole private property of Robert W. Vaughan.  Any un-authorized reprinting or theft of intellectual property is subject to legal action.  Unless otherwise credited, all photographs are included in this declaration. 

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