Honey loves it. It builds our relationship. And it’s a good way for both of us to train our brains.
So why do I keep having such a huge training fail?
Too Easy To Fail?
It’s hard to imagine anyone having a training fail with Honey.
She’s an enthusiastic learner. If I take my clicker out in front of her she snaps to attention, the look on her face saying, “Ooooh, what are we going to do now?”
This pup is smart.
And she’s easy. And I think that’s one thing that contributes to my training failure.
No one would call any of my earlier dogs easy.
I was so ignorant with my first dogs that I spent their entire lives managing problems (fighting, separation anxiety, pulling on leash) instead of training them.
By the time my third dog came along, I did better. I worked on training her to pull less and to not bark and lunge at every dog who walked by.
But nothing about training Shadow (Honey’s predecessor) was easy.
Honey’s middle name is easy.
I didn’t have to train her to respond gently to children. Or to walk near me without pulling me off my feet. Or to not spend hours barking at every street noise.
So if Honey has no major behavior problems and she’s an easy dog, just what is my massive training failure?
Settling For Too Little
I assume that because Honey is awkward with her hind feet that she would never learn to climb a companionway ladder.
Because Honey is timid, she’ll never be a brave adventure dog.
But do those assumptions say anything about Honey? Or do they say more about me?
I think of friends who have challenging dogs. They channel their dogs’ energy or neuroses into amazing training.
I’ve gotten a beautifully behaved dog who loves everyone she meets.
Doesn’t she deserve to use every bit of her brain to learn new things? And if I weren’t so lazy and inconsistent a trainer, would she surprise me with the skills she’d learn?
Thanks For The Training Push
I’m blessed with open time while we’re negotiating the terms of the sailboat we wish to buy. I need to take advantage of it by training Honey.
I want to concentrate on improving her agility (not agility in the competitive sense but her ability to move gracefully and safely in a variety of settings).
Next week’s theme for the Positive Dog Training Hop is training successes. So I’m pledging in pixels today to have something to post about Honey’s and my progress.
Now I just have to figure out what I’m going to teach her and how.
Your Turn: Help!! What are some good ways I could teach Honey to be more agile?