Having reached UK championship level in our sport of working trials. I realised that Sassy did not understand one of the exercises as well I as thought. So I had to review her understanding.. On examination, in my determination to succeed I had unintentionally made the exercise much more complicated than it needed to be. Added to this the pressure I put on the dog by my disapproving body language. She gradually began to anticipate her failure and became very confused and unmotivated. I now understand how she feels as I used to suffer a similar feeling in leaving certificate maths class.
On serious reflection I understand the gaps in my training. Aided by the generous help and support of more seasoned competitors . I am working to right the wrong by going back to the basics and retraining the exercise from the start. By making our training fun I am working on restoring her confidence so that she believes in herself and enjoys her training.
As dog owners it is our responsibility to be aware of our own mistakes and make good so that our dogs know that we are patient trustworthy and fun to be with. As another great trainer said to me. ‘When the dog does not understand you must show them show them and show them’
Dogs are very forgiving of our mistakes but we must own up to them first.