Deciding When to Train
Routine is key, but equally important is to take your mood into account when making a dog training schedule. Try to train your dog when you’re feeling relaxed and calm. You don’t want to inadvertently communicate negative emotions to your dog, which could stress them and you out.
Remember: Your Dog’s Behavior Doesn’t Define You
Dog training isn’t always easy, but time spent training is never wasted. Dogs are individuals and learn at different paces, just like we do. Try to avoid getting frustrated if another dog in your training class has mastered a skill more quickly than your pet. Though it’s easy to feel that your dog’s behavior is a direct reflection of you, this isn’t the case, and it does not . The speed at which your dog learns skills does not determine your self-worth as a trainer or an individual.
Try to control your frustration by playing a fun game or a puzzle for you and your dog to work on together. You might not master each complicated skill today, but you and your pet can sure enjoy yourselves trying!
What to Do When Training Sessions Go Awry
Naturally dogs are inclined to be highly attuned to their handler’s emotions. Some dogs may shut down if they think their owners are upset. Other pets may respond by getting more distracted than usual and others will seemingly mirror their owners’ moods and get irritated.
Training while frustrated isn’t productive for your dog or you, so take a break. Even if your dog seems to be “acting out” or not performing to their capabilities, you want to keep your mood positive and encouraging, rather than scolding or punishing your pet.
Take a Break
If you can’t shift your emotions in the moment, it’s important to stop the training session. Ask your dog to do a very simple cue they know well; alternatively, toss them a treat and encourage your pet to get it, praise your dog and take a break. Make sure your dog is comfortable, then take some time for yourself alone.
How to Handle Stress in the Moment
If you sense your training session going awry, try to do a quick reset. Instead of continuing to work on the skill or exercise that you’re struggling with, give your dog a cue that they know well and can complete, when they complete the task treat and praise them.
Continue to work on skills at which your dog excels, shifting the mood from negative to positive; quick success can help you and your dog regain your confidence. If you’re able to shift back to a positive mindset, slowly begin working back up to increasingly complicated skills with your dog.
In conclusion, f you find yourself regularly getting frustrated, consider whether your expectations are too high. We also recommend reaching out to your dog trainer. They should offer help and advice about how to restructure your training sessions to make them more enjoyable and successful for you and your dog.
Best of luck in your training. If you are looking for a trainer please feel free to reach out to us directly or check out our training page.