My mother and I recently had a conversation about self-esteem. My mother believes a woman can do anything in life if she has high self-esteem, and I agreed with her. We talked about how so many women feel they aren’t pretty enough or smart enough and how if they just built their confidence, they might be able to accomplish more. Then we began talking about our own self-esteem and how we rank. My mother and I both think very highly of ourselves, there is no doubt about that, but I definitely win. I may just have the biggest ego ever. In fact, my mom said she thought she went WAY too far in the right direction; she thinks maybe she overdid it.
Most of my clients are worried about getting the behavior exactly right, keeping up with the class and most importantly, not looking like a failure. The thing is, sometimes, dogs don’t do what we ask of them. This can be because of the value of treats, the level of distraction, etc., but I think that when an owner is stressed out, frustrated or feels down on themselves, it impedes their ability to teach their dog. My mentor always says, “It’s just dog training,” and I tell my clients that all the time. There is usually a way to make it work. It’s always important to remember how awesome you are as a pet owner. You have given this creature food, shelter and love. You have even taken the time to train it! Remember that, every time you pick up your bag of treats or put that leash on your dog.
I challenge each of you do some simple behaviors with your dog like touch, sit or spin. Make sure to do something they already know and might even be good at. Watch them do this behavior over and over again (don’t forget to reward occasionally). Then remember, you did that. I didn’t do that. One of my colleagues didn’t do that. YOU did it, because you’re awesome.