Many people find it overwhelming when they begin training their dog. I hear this often in consultations and want you to know you are not alone. Here are some of the myths I've encountered that I feel are regarding the confidence of dog training.
You have to be an expert to train your dog. - FALSE
You have to know exactly what to do. - FALSE
With practice, your confidence and skills will increase. - TRUE!
Many dog owners worry that they can't train their dog because they don't have enough knowledge or experience, or they feel overwhelmed by the "what if's" of training. But don't fear - dog training is a journey where both dog and handler learn along the way. Connecting with your dog and teaching them layer by layer keeps you always on the same page with each other. No other journey matters but that you and your dog take together.
In a society built on instant satisfaction, it can be discouraging when immediate results aren't seen. Just remember, each dog is unique and that means each training journey is unique too. Remember the tiniest victories should be celebrated. Here are some tips to help you and your dog find your way!
- Practice. You are never going to learn or become confident if you don't practice and work through the road bumps along the way. Will mistakes be made? Most likely. Will those mistakes "ruin" your dog? No. It's all about the learning process.
- Watch yourself and others train. By recording yourself train you are able to watch how your dog reacts to what you are asking them to do, and you can find ways to improve for next time. By watching others train you can learn more about different styles and techniques, and which ones work for you and your dog.
- Most importantly, have fun! Training is meant to be a fun activity for you and your dog. By learning along with your dog your relationship will grow stronger, and you both will develop the confidence and skills necessary to keep advancing on your training journey.
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