Renewal: the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again. I have been in great need of some of this lately. I needed renewal in my confidence of my puppy, of Zippy’s phenomenal skills, of my own training skills. Everything was feeling very run down, and worn.
I’ve always thought that I was pretty good at hiding my emotions; apparently this is not true, and I wear my heart on my sleeve. As much as I thought no one knew I was feeling this way, everyone did. And everyone was trying their hardest to stop me from feeling this way. Unfortunately, no one could stop this feeling. It was in my gut, it was surrounding everything I did, and was effecting it all in a major way.
My training homework for the past week was to just have fun. No travel planks, no foundation work, just have fun. Simple enough right? Well it’s not as easy as it seems. I was trying my hardest, I was. We were at a trial all day Saturday, and we did nothing but play. No pressure. We were just doing silly things, but then I realized, I still had expectations. I was planning ahead. Well if he gets this now, then this will help us later with _____. I still wasn’t simply playing. I couldn’t just have fun with my puppy, everything had to be training. I was having more fun Saturday then I had been having earlier, but I still wasn’t where I should have been.
Tonight, we had our first Tricks for Treats class. It’s a fun class that my Aunt is teaching full of just tricks. She explained that the glory of tricks is that they don’t matter. If they break, who cares? They don’t matter. They’re not going to affect agility, or your training. They’re simply to have fun, and build a relationship with your dog. I needed this. The class was amazing. My puppy is brilliant, and he’s so much fun. It was so amazing to see his little brain working, trying to figure what he was doing that was getting him the treat.
Check is definitely a thinker, he’s always considering everything. This changes the way I have to train him. We’re going with the method right now that if he’s sorta right, move on. There is no need to do the same thing with him multiple times. He wants to learn, he’s most drivey when he’s thinking his hardest. This has been a wake up call for me. I’m realizing that I have to realize what works best for my dog, and go with it. I can’t have the exact same training plan as someone else. He will tell me what he needs, I just need to be listening.
I left class tonight with a renewed vigor for training. I’m sure of myself, of my puppy, and of our training. We’re learning that we can in fact simply have fun. And that having fun is, well simply that, fun. I’m so excited to continue teaching him new things, and him doing the same for me. We’re ready to continue on this journey together.