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Training Through Frustration "the handler's"

Schutzhund A Frame or "Wall"we just don't often realize it. It's a matter of letting yourself be as you are now or making a conscious choice to change. Make the change in the handler & you'll see the dog change. Sometimes it's a matter of getting the dog to be serious. I don't use a command to signal my dog it's time to work. When my attitude changes then they're aware of it & expected to step up to bat. If they don't I've been remiss in part of their training & need to go back to basics. Only you can control your emotions. If I put a dog into bite work then my focus has to be the work, my mind can not wander. 110% of me has to be in bite work. I find often a handler's mind wander more during tracking or obedience work because it's not so intense. Same goes with frustration. Being the handler of a working dog means discipline with self FIRST. No fooling around, no letting the brain take a little vacation while you're doing something that's maybe not as exciting as other aspects of the work. Rule #1 in handling a good dog is that NO ONE'S OPINION MATTERS BUT YOURS. If my dog fails I will back up & work the exercise from a different angle, maybe go back to basics & see where I've missed what my dog needs to succeed & we'll keep trying. 

Trust me on this matter , if your dog doesn't care if she fails in someone else's eyes. She does not give a fig about others. She only cares what you think. If she fails in your eyes... she is a failure. If she is a lousy rotten performer but she's a star in your eyes, then she's it. I've seen dogs that didn't have much going for them manage to do amazing things because of the person who's working them... again it comes back to faith & back to the fire you have in yourself & how far you're willing to go.

The other day I was working with a dog that began to frustrate me a bit. I recognized the emotion. Took a deep breath. Sat down on a rock with the dog at my side. We watched a squirrel climb a tree. Watched the wind play in the grass & soon enough I picked up the lead & went backward in the training to a point where there was no frustration. I work on the dog's time table. In doing so I didn't put the dog in avoidance of me. I put the dog in a place where he had nothing to do but get good reviews. The whole exchange took about 5 minutes & I put the dog up the wall on the first try. No one on the training field but one man knew what had happened. As humans we want what we want, when we want it, & we want no arguements about it. Oh yes & we want to look cool doing it. That'd be fine with the dog if we were consistent & made sense. Ever seen someone who speaks English try to speak to someone who speaks a different language (like say Italian)? At some point as they get frustrated they will get louder (as if that changes the problem) or they'll use really exaggerated words or hand motions. Well folks... most often times we're that fool speaking english louder & louder & in a more exaggerated fashion & the dog begins to want to get AWAY. We need to learn to communicate in a way that transcends the language barrier. Hope that makes sense.

for the Sport of it!

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