Over the last weeks I found it really difficult to write down our progress. This was in part caused by a lack of time with training, work and Yarpen’s treatment sessions taking over. Yarpen’s health problems were quite depressing, which didn’t make me feel like writing anything at all. But there was also a bit of a serious issue on my part, which I think (hope…) I am over now. It was a lack of confidence. I am writing this as I had a similar phase when I first took on Yarpen. I hope that by writing this down I will help my future-self to get over it quicker.
Over the last years I have met many great trainers, whom I admire greatly. Some of the things I wrote on the previous blog posts were met with some (constructive) criticism from some of them. This is of course good, as it helps me be a better trainer, but at the same time the number of issues highlighted was quite unnerving. This made me doubt in the value of this blog being public, in me as a trainer, or even in my ability to deal with my breed! But, at some point I realised that while some of the advice I received was universal, other was subjective, reflecting the preferred methods or a viewpoint of a given trainer. Sometimes the tips from different trainers were completely contradictory! For a while I was then lost, not really sure which advice to follow. Aside from making me feel bad, it also made our training worse, as I got quite petrified of failing.
Finally I decided to just go with my instincts. I am feeling fairly confident as a pet dog trainer, so all I am risking is our sports career. It is of course one of our main goals, but I would rather have fun training and make mistakes, than be rigid and afraid of doing something wrong.
So, future-me, remember how Yarpen turned out, and just have fun!!