What do I find most rewarding about training with my dogs?
SEEING THEM HAVE SO MUCH FUN!
If my dog's not feeling it, then I'm not feeling it. Their enjoyment is EVERYTHING. It's WHY I do it and WHAT drives me to do it more!
Whether it's agility, obedience, trick training, or whatever floats your boat.. your goal should be that you and your dogs are having fun... in HUGE quantities.
As well as having the best time ever... your dog will be focused, attentive, upbeat and wanting more! They will form powerful, positive associations, learn faster and best of all (the ULTIMATE prize) they will learn that being with you is the BEST thing ever!
It makes me sad (and by that I mean cross) when I see people getting angry with their dog. It doesn't matter if they turned the wrong way or took an off-course tunnel.. and furthermore getting cross with them is only going to flatten their spirit (not cool) or potentially encourage behaviours that you might find frustrating in the first place! Dogs are not "stubborn", they are not intentionally doing things wrong to annoy you. They most likely just don't understand what you are asking due to gaps in your training, or poor instructions from you! Take a step back and set them up for success!
Our dogs have got just as much to teach us as we have to teach them! Tune into what makes them tick, be patient, kind and give them your best! That's where you will see the real magic happen.
Our dogs are not robots, we don't want worried faces looking back at us.. we want happy confident faces, having fun. Looking forward to the next amazing thing we're about to do with them! After all, it's all just a big game isn't it?
When you let everything else go (and by that I mean your ego) and just FOCUS ON THE FUN....amazing things will happen!
Use FUN to drive everything.. MAKE IT THE HEADLINE!...and when something goes right, REWARD the hell out of it!!
Your dog doesn't care about rosettes. They aren't bothered if they aren't learning as quickly as other dogs.. they are just here, living in the moment, with you. Immerse yourself in those moments, and cherish them, after all they aren't here for long enough!
Make this your most fundamental training goal and I promise you will have everything you need to succeed. Plus one bloomin' HAPPY dog!