Updated: Sep 15
I know grasshopper, we’re starting this post off with a bang.
A tendency among us humans is to become incredibly focused and develop tunnel-vision when it comes to dealing with a problem. This truth oftentimes applies to how we tackle dog training issues as well. However, this micro view can cause us to make things unnecessarily challenging, if downright impossible, for our dogs and ourselves.
ADMIT IT, THERE ARE NO VACUUMS
Intellectually we all understand this truth, yet time and time and time again, we will go about our dog training as if we and our dogs existed in a sterile, perfect little bubble. If we are doing Scent Work with our dogs, all solutions will magically come within the context of Scent Work.
Listen to me closely little one: This. Is. Not. True.
If your dog is terrified of traffic noises, that fear is NOT going to suddenly dissipate at the trial that abuts a busy main stretch on a holiday weekend.
If your dog throws a conniption whenever they are in their crate, you best believe they will do the same, times ten, as you rush to the restroom during a class or trial.
If your dog is uncoordinated, unfit, or unhealthy, they are not going to miraculously turn into an Olympic-level athlete the second you start searching…just the opposite, they will likely struggle!
The list goes on and on.
None of these examples are rare. Rather, they are painfully common! Each will negatively affect your dog’s ability to tackle a search effectively, efficiently, and joyfully or cope with the realities of training or trialing. Simultaneously, none of these issues are merely “solved” by doing more searches!
“UGH! But I just want to search! I just want to trial!”
Hate to break it to you dear grasshopper, but I have even worse news to share with you.