We’ve all heard it before, the more you work at something, the better you’ll get at it. Athletes are a great example. They spend countless hours honing their craft, practicing endless drills, dedicating their lives to a specific goal by lathering, rinsing and repeating day in and day out. The same principles apply to working with our Service Dogs. We are honing our craft of training not only an outstanding Canine Good Citizen, but a Champion who day in and day out will win the race of life for us as long as we do the drills.

Will there be days that are frustrating? Of course! If there weren’t, you wouldn’t be practicing. If these feelings pop up, give yourself and your pup a short break. Try putting yourself in the dog’s mind. Why does he/she not respond to this particular command or task? Are you watching your dog for clues? Does she/he need water or a potty break? Or is your dog alerting you to a medical condition? Training outside of the group setting can incorporate play as well.

Using your pups favorite toy as a reward throughout the practice adds an element of fun and excitement to training. In this instance there is more opportunity to pat, rub and give high praise to your Battle Buddy. Remember, your dog has amazing hearing. You can whisper as you train and he/she will hear you. A softer, gentle tone shows no threat to your Buddy. Inflections and hand signals can assist you in developing your personal communication with your dog.

We can do all of these things day in and day out and get results. What kind of results are we looking for in the long run, for me personally I’m thinking Olympics! To get there, it has to start in the heart, with ever loving kindness and I wish this for each and every one of you. Practice. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

If you have a topic you would like to present in the Blog, please contact Melinda and Cam.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

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