Training Tip Of The Day: Support your passion, become a member!
Support your passion by becoming a member of a retriever club, training group, or volunteer to help a professional retriever trainer. Seeking enthusiasts who share your passion will only help promote and keep the retriever sports flourishing. It also helps clubs provide more events such as fun hunts, picnic trials, and clinics year round. Being active is the key, one never knows when a good technique, optimal training situation, or a gem of information will present itself to help you and your dog be the best it can be.
Remember it is okay to disagree. One does not have to debate why their method is better than another. A wealth of information is learned if one observes with an open-mind first and gives relative opinion when asked second. Even though like-minded individuals will share the same goals the methods in which to achieve them could vary widely.
All information can be good depending on how you digest it. For instance: If you witness a technique that you disagree with for your dog at the time, you may have just learned “What Not To Do”. However, file it away in your memory bank. A year from now the method observed may work for another dog. This observation may also inspire you to tweak the technique in a manner to fit your method of training or help develop a new technique.
Learning what to do, when to do it, and how to do it is a long journey filled with successful moments and not so successful moments. In any case, observing what not to do and what to do can be an opportunity waiting for you if you become a member and get involved. Your dog is only as good as the time and effort you put into it. For no success comes without good, honest, hard work.
Check out my favorite retriever club links below:
Clubs without web pages include:
Wolverine Retriever Club – Metamora, MI – Barb Younglove
American Amateur Retriever Club – Willmington, IL – Sharon Gierman
South Texas Retriever Club – Giddings, TX – Tera Lanczak
Tera’s Training Tip Of The Day: Recognize Your Dog’s Effort.
Recognizing your retriever’s efforts during training is an influential element of your retriever’s ability to progress in training. As the trainer, one needs to pay attention to the retriever’s attitude, momentum and body language during their lessons. If your retriever is hanging his/her head when you clip the leash to his/her collar then he/she is telegraphing the lesson is no longer fun. One thing I love about these amazing retrievers is they can not lie! What you see, is what you get. If your retriever is stressed, sad, happy or confident they will without a doubt let you know. It is up to the trainer to be focused not only on the lesson at hand, but what the retriever is showing them. Don’t be a trainer who is just going through the motions of training. For example, the book said; I do this, this and this, following step-by-step instruction is O.K., but being rigid is a definite attitude killer for your retriever.
Attention to detail, a non-prejudice open mind and an objective eye, will help a trainer notice unwanted, manifested positive or negative, and changes in behavior. These changes in behavior can be directly related to the training environment or the retriever’s training lessons. Some common reasons for the lessons no longer being fun to your retriever are confusion, lack of successful repetitions or staying in a lesson too long creating boredom. If this poor attitude continues the retriever may regress in their lessons and ultimately stop putting forth effort toward learning. In turn, creating a retriever that no longer enjoys learning and is having to be forced to perform, an ugly sight I promise you. Recognize your retriever’s efforts toward learning, celebrate it, and offer advancement often knowing when to simplify if your retriever is showing signs of being overwhelmed.