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Haste Makes Waste

We humans are very goal-centered creatures. We set goals and work very hard to achieve those goals, whether they be in the moment or life-long ambitions. This has led to humans accomplishing amazing feats of engineering, art, architecture, music, and culture. We see people who have a clear and ambitious goal of what they want to see their dog achieve. They work hard and long to achieve it but may not understand the path on how to get there. Usually, no one has told the dog what those goals are. The key to effective training of dogs (or any other animal for that matter) is knowing that they do not know or understand our obsession with achieving goals. They just know what works (gets rewarded) and what doesn’t work (what doesn’t get rewarded). Instead of just seeing the finish line in the distance, we should break down the training into its smallest incremental steps. This way we can offer rewards for little successes that will then build upon other successes. This limits frustration when your canine companion does not know what to do or even why it is being done. Training in small, easily understood chunks teaches your dog, with a series of successes, what it is that you are trying to achieve. While there can be that euphoric sense of accomplishment when you finally get to that finish line after a long and arduous journey, it is better and more effective to give little bits of praise and reward with every small step rather than holding out for the big jackpot at the end. You will find that your dog learns faster, is more engaged, and shares your goal-seeking. Do this and you will suddenly realize that you are standing in front of that finish line tape, having achieved everything you set out for you and your dog.

Chobani running so fast he is flying!

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