Accept the Imperfections
This blog isn't about resistance training specifically, but more about dog training in general. We hear it ALL the time, that "practice makes perfect", or to take it one step further ...."my dog NEEDS to have perfect obedience or _______(insert here)". While I do not discredit the reasons behind the needs for solid foundation of obedience skills for lifestyle management; by coming out of the gate with the expectation and bar set to "perfection"..... leaves a TON of room to be disappointed in our dogs when they "fail" to meet that abnormally high bar.
I can reflect on this, because I was JUST as guilty. I have two pit bulls and society has an innate fear of this breed, as many of you can relate. I knew that when I decided to start my training endeavors, that my dogs had little room for error or it would only feed into the negative stigma and stereotypes, and I knew I couldn't let that happen. Responsible ownership would tell me they needed training, and lots of it! I had to help them reach this level of perfection in not only their obedience but general behavior ( which is usually managed by obedience now a days, but we can discuss that another time!).
You see---the problem when setting the bar SO high, is that it there is NO room for growth. By setting exceedingly high expectations on both you and your dog, when those goals aren't met, often leads to huge disappointments. If you the above average owner and are intelligent, you will realize that it takes two to tango....meaning, the expectations aren't and shouldn't be placed on JUST the dog. Perfection breeds disappointment, and makes the ability to see growth damn near impossible. This goes for everything in life, not JUST dogs and training. Think about the things in ourselves that we place extremely high expectations on, and we fail to meet them? This rings true for our dogs as well. How do you think our dogs feel when they are constantly left with the feelings of disappointment and defeat when they fail to meet the mile high bar of perfection you set for them?
My whole point in saying all of this, is that in order to truly grow, in whatever area of training ( resistance training, personal play, tug, wall climb, agility, etc)--- you first need to lower that bar. Leave room for growth, in both YOUR ability to communicate, handle, and develop...but also your dog's ability to understand, respond, and thrive.
Accept and embrace those imperfections---- they are perfect.