"When will my dog be done with training?"
Ever wondered the answer to that question? Its a challenging question that I hear often during client intake calls and emails. Want to hear the my truth? NEVER.
Scary huh? Well, don't be too alarmed.
Think about your life up until this point. If you are like me you went to preschool, elementary school, high school, and college. You may have even gone back for another degree (or like me to dog training school). Did all of that schooling help get you where you are today? Imagine the disasters that would follow if a 7 year old child ran a law firm?
Now, think about the last time you learned something new. For me, it was about 45 minutes ago when I finished reading some new research about Exercise and Dog Reactivity from Linda Cooper. After all the many years of schooling I did, this one research study I read will create changes in how I move forward with my behaviors and those of my clients and dogs. I learned.
My point is that learning is a process and we learn new things all the time. And when we learn these new things it changes what we know and how we handle situations moving forward usually (and hopefully) for the better. So, why do we think it is any different for our dogs? Why do we think they can learn behaviors x,y, and z so quickly and then be masters at everything?
You can't, and they can't either. Mastery takes time.
So think of learning as more of a lifelong journey that you and your dog can take together. A lifelong tool to learn to communicate with one another and build the strongest of bonds. There may be bumps along the way, but continuing to work together and learn together is the key to success.