Choosing plan B

Sometimes training doesn’t go according to plan. For whatever reason, what you’re trying just doesn’t work. No-one seems to publish these failed attempts, but they are a big part of what we have to deal with; we have living, breathing animals in front of us, not robots. I know some days I’m more productive than others, and why shouldn’t dogs have the same prerogative?

So, what do we do? Get cross and walk away in a sulk, feeling agitated with ourselves and our dogs, or try to turn it into something productive?

Here’s a short video I took with This Little Doggy. A twelve week old puppy can’t always be switched into work mode just by giving your “ready to work” cue. She was, for whatever reason, over-excited and unable to concentrate. We were trying to work on free stacking but, other than a moment of brilliance, she just wasn’t feeling it. So, I aborted that lesson and went onto something a bit more sedate, a chin rest. This is a behaviour she’s practiced a fair bit, although it was new to do it outside, but it’s a real calming behaviour, so perfect for an over-hyped puppy. I kept the session short – around a minute – and then we broke into play. And I went inside to salve my wounds. It’s a good job she’s cute.

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