What To Do When We Are Frustrated With Our Dogs:

Have you ever been frustrated with your dogs?

It's okay.

First of all, I have loads. Back when I first started dog training, I used to get really wound up. Why weren't they just following my instructions? It's easy to feel annoyed with animals.

Secondly, however you get frustrated, don't beat yourself up. Some of us stomp our feet, some of us shout. It's a reaction - I imagine your dogs do it sometimes too! They'll forgive you, provided you know we should be looking to do something different.

So, what should we do when we do get frustrated?

The first thing we need to look at is this - is it actually our training sessions?

I have a big rule with my dogs - if I'm in a bad mood, I don't train the dogs. And I especially don't do behaviour work if I am in a bad mood. I'll be trigger stacked and wired, and I won't be productive in that session. My dog might work through it, but if they don't, I'll get upset. That's on me, not them.

Maybe you've had a bad day at work. Maybe an argument with your family member. Or maybe you are just tired of being locked up in your house.

Being able to evaluate if we are stable enough to train is so important. Training our dogs is a dance - it takes two to tango, and if one of you aren't up for it, it'll come crashing down.

The second is that if it is a training session, what can we do?

We have a few options - we can change what we are training. If we're teaching something new and it isn't working, going back to something we know our dogs can do is absolutely fine.

Or, we can just end the training session.

You don't always need to end on a good note. That can build frustration in both of you. And for your dog, a good note might just be some food scattered on the floor!

Or you can take a break. Breathe and relax. It'll all be okay.

Remember that training is meant to be fun, but it is also a journey. Journeys are never simple, but they teach us so much.

33 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

When we think about enrichment, it's important to focus on what the point of it is - to enrich. The goal of it is to provide more mental and potentially physical stimulation than a dog would normally