I am currently taking an online class to teach Cargo how to formally heel. We may or may not do any obedience work, but I am a huge nerd and enjoy training my dogs. This particular class is a 3 session in depth into the details and small particles of the heeling picture. I finished up the first part, and life got in the way to get started on the second part, so I am playing catch up.
The other challenge in a continuing class like this, is that when the harder part is released, I find the holes in the first part that I have to go clean up. I figured I would spend a few minutes reviewing the first lessons and continue on to catch up with the second part. That was 2 hours ago. I now have 2 pages of notes, and 4 extra exercises that I need to review before I can get caught up.
This makes my brain hurt.
Creating training plans
It also reminds me why I created the training programs I have for my clients. Over the many years of working on behavior challenges, I have created programs that break your goals into these manageable pieces that you can digest. I know what your tiny steps need to be to reach the bigger goals that you have for your dogs. This is the same concept that is used when I take classes. The instructor takes the most traveled path to the end goal and replicates it. In the class you explore the places where your dog may not be on the most traveled path, but the instructor is knowledgeable enough to guide you around the bump in the road.
It is important for my clients to be on board and ready to work on their dogs challenges when we meet. Each lesson is going to build on the last for us to be able to move forward. It is important for me that you reach the goals you have for your dogs, so being ready each lesson makes that path much easier. I dropped the ball a bit on my class when other stuff popped up, but training is important to me so I am taking the time to catch up and push myself to make this a priority.
Easy but not Simple
My class is not asking me to do anything I don’t already know how to do. It is challenging me to put those pieces together in a different way to reach different goals. I am having to change the way I look at certain aspects of exercises, and pay attention to details I might not have in the past. This is the same for my clients. I am going to ask them to change the way they look at their dog, and even change the way they interact with them to be able to create the life they imagined with their dog.
Taking classes also reminds me that I am asking my clients to do hard things. It keeps me humble and empathetic to your journey because I keep myself on a similar one.
Here’s to the hard things!