I did a blog some time ago about working with the dog you’ve got, it still stands you should work with the dog you have in front of you rather than the dog you wished you had however I’ve learn’t a lot since then and I’d like to update it slightly. My previous blog was very much geared towards working with the dog you have when training, looking at the dog and what it wants/is capable of etc and working with that however what if you actually really relaxed, I’m talking sit back, kick of your shoes and chilax back!
Well then you might actually be able to let your dog take you on an adventure, your dog might actually teach you about the world. Sound far fetched? Well its not…..
My first dog was over 10 years ago now and a baptism of fire (hence all my wonderful dog knowledge now) however, there were several reasons for this fire:
- I was a first time dog owner
- I had a brought high drive hunting dog with a huge thirst for work
- I didn’t have the support to recommend the right places to turn to for help
- I didn’t listen to my gut instincts but followed blindly the advice of so called ‘professionals’
- I fought my dog and all that he was by being so ridiculously fixed on what I wanted to do
There were lots of other smaller reasons too such as limited funds with which to seek help but they are by the by.
So eventually after years of fighting to do what I wanted to do and not working with the dog I had in front of me, slowly but surely I started to give in. I gave up showing him which he hated with a passion due to his lack of confidence (owing to being attacked and bitten by several dogs, including at an actual show). I found a gundog trainer, whom I will be eternally grateful to, which was the first trainer who didn’t want to bend my dog to my will but who wanted me to watch my dog and what he was telling me, to understand my dog knew far, far more about working in the field than I could dream of learning and to learn from him what he could show me…..revelation right there!
I also took up agility as it seemed to be something he naturally enjoyed, we eventually learnt to compete and he won numerous classes and was an absolute pleasure to run, never seen him happier and doubt I ever will than zooming around the rings flying high and feeling proud of himself.
I tried clicker training tricks with him and he became the first Longhaired Weimaraner ever to become a Kyra Sundance Trick Dog Champion, he loved tricks, he loved learning and he loved doing it with me.
There were lots of other things we tried and he enjoyed but that I didnt have the time to commit to but the point is we tried. Instead of forging on with wasting time showing when neither he nor I actually enjoyed our time at shows we learnt new things and had new experiences that I never would have had if I had not given in to the journey that was my dog.
So when things aren’t going right I am not saying give up, what I am saying is kick back a little, relax and be open to what your dog might have to show you and the journey you could take rather than the journey you are fixed on taking……my adventure with my first dog has been amazing so far and 10 years on he still teaches me so much and now that I’ve learnt to kick back and enjoy the journey more my time with my other younger dogs has been all the sweeter because I look at them and I am guided by them and I am still being shown new wonders all the time…..so don’t just try to work with the dog in front of you, embrace them and their journey and all they have to show you!
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