Tucker Keunker learning to Hold the bumper while shaking off.

Tera’s Training Tip Of The Day

Tera’s Training Tip Of The Day: Pick Your Battles.Tucker Keunker learning to Hold the bumper while shaking off. Tucker Kuenker learning to hold the bumper while shaking off excess water.

Wars are not waged on every battle a nation faces. The battles worth fighting are those that maintain to preserve our freedoms we enjoy everyday. Be wise and choose your battles. Not every battle is worth fighting and not every battle you will win. For some battles will cause more harm than good and others will change your retrievers life. These are words I play out in my mind everyday when observing my retrievers work and train. I always ask myself, ” What is going to be the ramification from choosing to fight this battle now?” “Will I create a problem elsewhere?” or “Is this a battle worth fighting in the big picture for my retriever?” Some issues need to be address right then and there. Others maybe able to wait, as your retriever advances the problem may smooth itself without a battle. Remember where your retriever is at in their training. Ask yourself, “Is it fair to require this standard of performance right now?” Is the retriever giving effort or is he/she distracted in their efforts? All important questions to ask oneself before waging a war on a battle .

For example, some issues get worse when you point your finger at it. I have experienced some retrievers with mouth problems. Theses problems have a tendency to get worse if you choose to fight this battle on a consistent basis. The battle enables the problem to persist making the issue not about what the retriever is doing wrong with the bird, rather it becomes about the battle itself. The alternative is to let the retriever relax in their work through practice and conquering challenge in their training. It is surprising to watch as some of these problems will  often fixes themselves.. Whatever the issue or problem for the day, evaluate its importance in the big picture of your retrievers life, purpose, and choose your battles wisely.

Happy Training!


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3 thoughts on “Tera’s Training Tip Of The Day”

  1. On the mark. Perfect! I used to tell those guys all the time …now is not to battle..pick it but not now…do u think they would listen..lol…NO…

    1. A conversation from Facebook on this subject:

      Judith Chute Yes….don’t battle over something that doesn’t matter, a non issue..if doubting another’s opinion and advice, “let me think about it”..and sleep on it! Messing with a dog’s head can cause issues, just like inappropriate use of a collar/corrections..it’s all pressure..can end up with actual problems that might not ever really be fixed..come back to haunt periodically.. If the dog doesn’t even realize what the handler considers to be the issue so does not understand the correction and his/her best efforts do not stop the corrections..makes for a very bad training and nothing gained, just the opposite, takes it out of them. Talented, great working retrievers..try to leave them that way Major snowstorm today..lots of time to reflect..LOL
      February 5 at 9:23am · Edited · Like · 1

      Judith Chute ..”For some battles will cause more harm than good and others will change your retrievers life.”…. unfortunately so true. This entire tip of the day is one of the most important of all ..in maintaining a talented, great retriever to achieve their best. Outstanding. I’m done..thanks for this one, know it but it is worth keeping at the forefront of training..as you say, Tara.
      February 5 at 9:24am · Edited · Like · 1

      Tera Lanczak Always like hearing another’s perspective.
      Yesterday at 7:14am · Like

      Dan Wegner I have one dog that I got too picky with on initial lines. Repeated call backs, corrections and handles. His response was to start no – going, since he felt he couldn’t win anyhow. Trying to force through the no-go only made things worse and he dug his heels in. Thankfully, after removing pressure and accepting any line, as long as he went, the problem that I created started to become less frequent and his lines improved. Once in awhile it still occurs, but not like It used to. It’s been a long, slow and sometimes painful process to fix the problem. All because I chose the wrong battle several years ago. Tough way to learn, but very valuable lesson. Good tip and article.
      Yesterday at 7:28am · Like · 2

      Tera Lanczak Thxs Dan Wegner. That’s a tough one to ignore at times.
      Yesterday at 8:45am · Like

      Judith Chute ..my picking your battles was leaving from the line. ..only now and then a very low..”umph” pushing off..not a bark at all, …so nick/verbal “no” on the umph, call back/resend. He thought it was about the going and it ended up taking it out of him …See More
      Yesterday at 10:37am · Edited · Unlike · 3

      Judith Chute off to find the tip for today.. !
      Yesterday at 10:23am · Unlike · 2

      Dan Wegner The problem is we know the behavior or issue we are trying to address, but many times the message is lost in translation to the dog. They perceive the correction is for something else. If we persist down this path, other handler created issues arise and all of a sudden we have a mountain of problems we are trying to address.

      I’m only training my 5th dog in 11 years. It’s taken a long time to get where I’m at as a trainer, handler and in reading dogs. This is where a pro has a distinct advantage. They see so many more dogs in a much shorter time and can figure out what works and what doesn’t. I value the relationships with all the pros I’ve had the honor to train with or talk to. Their insight, knowledge and help has been invaluable. These tips of the day are much appreciated Tera.

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