I know what a contradiction. But truth is I personally find this in most disciplined arts. Dog training is no different. I mentioned in a previous post that I box and enjoy forever learning the sweet science. Boxing at first was very boring and robotic.
My coach would also explain concepts to me that made little practical sense when I was first starting out. Now a couple years later in my journey these concepts make more sense. I spent day in and day out working on the same steps. After a while it became boring and I wanted to work on new moves. I didnt realize how important it was to work on the basics.
This idea of doing the basic boring moves over and over transfers over to dog training. When Im talking with a client they always have a end goal in mind, but many don’t know how the road is to get there. It takes a lot of patience and practice. The fundamentals are very important. A lot of the fancy stuff people see dogs do are broken down in basic steps.
Focus heeling for instance has multiple components. You have to teach the dog to hold its head straight up, then teach them how to focus on you while they hold their head up. Next you have to introduce turning to the dog and the heel finish. All these exercises by themselves are not very complicated but together they paint a beautiful picture of the dog. (If you dont know what focused heel looks like go on youtube to see what Im talking about.)
The exciting part of dog training doesnt come until you have mastered those boring moves and you are able to connect the dots between them. A down is very basic. But it looks much fancier when a dog can stay down while 8 people stand around the dog enticing them to get up.
Im always excited when Im training a new dog to do more complicated obedience. Not only is it fun to me to teach it, I love knowing the possibility of what this dog will be able to do when Im done with them. Im guessing thats how coaches feel when their players do great things. I feel like a dog’s coach. I work him/her through any problems they might have, whether its insecurity or uncertainty. This is why its exciting to me. I set up the roadmap for the journey I want to take the dog on and just fall in love with the process.
The process can be lenthy depending on what you want to do. Many dog owners are unfamiliar with how deep the rabbit hole goes when it comes to dog training. It goes deep! You can become a service dog trainer, pet dog trainer, police k9 dog trainer, personal protection dog trainer. Its like being a doctor with training dogs . You can be a pediatrician, a primary care physician, or a specialist like a surgeon or cardiologist. There is certainly levels to this dog training stuff and just like any discipline, the details make all the difference. Thats what makes it exciting and boring.