Dog training is unlike any hobby I ever had. Well, it’s not really a hobby, it’s a passion. I had a passion like that once before. It was computer programming and it opened doors for me that were closed for most of my peers. That was pretty cool. I can be fairly competitive and previously I could find easy ways to compare myself to others. If I found myself lacking in some area it was usually because someone read a few more books and worked on different projects. It was easy to see what I needed to do to get to their level of expertise.
If you have a dog then you know that this is *not* how things work in the dog world. Not even close. Dog training is a personal journey into a territory that has no definite map. There are some pathways where others have walked before you, but no highways, no cars, no public transport. You get to walk on foot beside your dog and enjoy the scenery, whether you like it or not 🙂
It took me a while to accept that just because someone else did A, B and C with their dog to get behavior X, and did this in three sessions, that doesn’t mean that my path will lead me through those same points or take the same amount of time. Our journeys will never be the same and they were never meant to be. Some journeys will have many struggles while other might look relatively straightforward, but it really doesn’t matter how my journey compares to anyone else’s because my journey is *mine* alone. This is the path that only I can walk. A path created by me & for me to enjoy, discover, imagine, transform & grow.
It’s like I’m writing a book… the more twists and turns there are, the more interesting the story. 😉 If I let them, obstacles and setbacks become my teachers. Sometimes they make me a better trainer. Other times they make me a better person. Sometimes they teach me that to fail is OK and other times they teach me I need to trust and believe.
Learning that failure is OK was and still is the hardest lesson for me, therefore the lesson I needed the most. Thank you, doggies. I couldn’t do it without you.
Click on the link below and watch the video. It will only take you two minutes, but the message will stay with you for a long time.