Staying Motivated To Train Your Dog – Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
PHOENIX , AZ AREA: (602) 708-4531
OR, if you are out of this area, inquire about a telephone or e-Lesson
Email: [email protected]
I know. I’ve been there. I’m like you.
If you live in a cold climate, it is tough to stay motivated to train your dog in the winter. Either the weather is so great you want to go and play, or it is so soggy and cold you would rather stay inside. The opposite is true in Phoenix. Winter is perfect, and summer is too hot to do anything except in the early morning or after the sun goes down. Or life is getting you down, and the dog training is not going so well.
So, what can you do to get things going again? Here are some ideas. If you are a past customer of mine, you have heard this before. But, if you haven’t trained with me, maybe I can motivate you to get out there and be more responsible with your dog¦
1.) Set some quality goals and make some decisions.
For most breeds, a trained, adult dog is capable of a 10 minute Sit, 30 minute Down, and off leash control within a 100 yard radius of the handler/ owner. You could make a decision to adopt these objectives for your dog and start working for that kind of control.
2.) Take control of your schedule.
Start planning specific times of the week when you will train your dog. Treat these just like you would a business appointment. You make your schedule, it is yours, you are in control, therefore you can make time to train your dog. Don’t let life control you. Take control of your life and the direction it takes. Make time in your life for your dog.
3.) Make sure your dog has a good day every day.
I make it a point to have some kind of personal fun planned for my dog every day. That means doing something WITH my dog every day, not just letting my dog run around with other dogs. I want time where my dog plays with ME. Dogs are totally dependent upon us to have a good life. Play is just as important in the life of your dog as is the formal training. When you start enjoying your dog, and taking your dog places, you will be more inclined to also train your dog.
4.) GET SOME MOTIVATIONAL SUPPORT!
When my dog was young, every Saturday, I would get up at 6 am and drive 60 miles to train my dog at a local Schutzhund club. Some of my friends had formed an unofficial dog training club. We were all preparing to enter our dogs into competition, so we would train together every Saturday. Because I had a group of people counting on me to show up and train with them, it forced me to get out there and really work my dog during my day off. Because I am accountable to my friends to work with them, it got me out there training my dog during the week. For the average pet owner, they don’t have a support system set up to help them train their dogs. That is why I offer Maintenance Lessons. If you know you are going to see me in a week or month, you are going to be more likely to get out there and train your dog. So, let’s set up some lessons!
5.) How Is Your Life Going?
Tough times can sap your enthusiasm for dog training. You can get mighty shaken up and depressed after a job loss, relationship breakup, health problem, death of a pet, and so forth. All this stuff can weigh you down. We all face these challenges. I have learned several things.
First, time does help heal emotional pain and grief. You just have to be patient to allow the time to pass, and the more intense the disappointment or setback, the quicker you want it over and the slower it seems to go away. That’s just life, and it can help to realize that some things can take weeks or months or even years to get over. I didn’t date for nearly 5 years after my divorce. It took that long to work through it all and mature enough to try again. I was then ready. As I get older and wiser, I have learned you don’t have to wait 5 years for most things to pass, you can let them go and move on. But then, some things take time to work out, and there are no mental gymnastics that will make the clock go faster. Lawsuits take time. Prison sentences take time. Physical therapy takes time. Family tragedies take time. Financial ruin takes time. Just don’t get stuck in a rut that isn’t there.
Next, you need to examine your self talk, and the messages making it into your mind. You need to counter these negative thoughts and feelings with happy things and solid wisdom. So, surround yourself with healthy and wise friends. Go to church. Read good books. Find healthy activities. Get in shape. Talk to trusted family members. Dig into your job and do it well. Work out your finances. Work to be a better person, someone of good character. Have fun things planned into every week. Change and update your wardrobe. Set some goals in life. And don’t listen to sad songs, watch sad movies, or be listening to people who are going to tear you down or tempt you to do unhealthy things. Just remember: this too will pass.
Third, look for new opportunities. That soul mate may already be knocking on your door. Are you going to even notice? Are you going to let them in? You can choose to become bitter and unforgiving, and let that past relationship forever define you and your future, or you can start out on a new path with someone fun and of a healthy mindset. That new job might just be one phone call, one dinner party, one event away. There is ALWAYS money to be made, big money, in even the worst economy. Go out there and meet people even when you don’t want to. Most jobs come through networking, not by sitting in your room sending out resumes or surfing the web for the latest news. New cures for diseases come along, and yours might be here soon, or techniques and medicines might just make your situation into a new life. And a new pet can fill that hole that the death created.
Luck does play a big part in tragedy and success. Are you even aware of the good things, opportunities, and people around you? Can you recognize that sometimes bad things happen and nothing you could have done would have prevented what happened? And do you realize you can “make” your own luck, too? Are you going to be so pessimistic that you let good things pass you by? Some people program themselves to repeat their same failures over again, draw bad people into their lives and push away the good ones, think themselves above receiving advice or criticism, don’t want to change, can’t adapt to change, like playing the victim, or want to have a bad attitude and take it out on others. I’m not of that mindset. I get up, dust myself off, deal with what has to be dealt with, forgive who need forgiving, love those who need loving, learn my lessons, see the world as it really is, not let go of my hope, set new goals, and move on. You can choose to do the same. One day, you can be once again on top of the world inside, wiser and better… so long as you get to work on moving onto a better and healthier future. And as your attitude improves, so will your dog training. Yes, they are linked.
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