We've all heard how important it is "rise to the occasion" or to "meet the challenge head-on" or "anything worthwhile requires hard work" and so on. Essentially, if you hope to achieve anything, you must be ready and willing to put in the time and effort required.
The same applies to Scent Work. Eyeing the upper levels of competition? Better be ready to toughen up and put that time in! Your dog must toughen up too. Scent Work trials notoriously throw curveballs at teams all the time. Want to succeed? Better train your dog to be ready to deal with whatever life wants to throw at them!
These concepts of "toughening up" to face the challenges of life have merit but are incomplete. They assume everyone is at a place right now where they CAN give more. This premise doesn't account for the fact that handlers, and dogs, may simply be incapable of "giving it their all", because they already are. There is simply nothing left in the tank. Even worse, pushing more could spell disaster for them individually and as a team.
In this episode, we discuss the importance of being realistic in assessing what is going on at both ends of the leash before embarking on a "we'll suck it up 'till we get what we want" adventure. How being more pragmatic and flexible may be the better path to take.
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