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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Positive Reinforcement for this Trainer

I have a great job!  I get to play with dogs, write about dogs, figure out ways to teach dogs, read about dogs, judge competition dogs, and observe therapy dogs.  I also like to walk dogs, play with dogs, and snuggle with dogs.  I suppose you could (and probably should!) say I'm a woman of limited interests!  But sometimes the rewards for my job are limited at best -- that's when I have to step back and remember why I love dogs in the first place.

One of the best things about my job is when I get to work with a really great dog -- as a dog trainer, a lot of times I don't see good dogs -- I usually see dogs with issues or problems or when the family is at the end of their rope with what the dog is doing at home.  This week I saw some really great dogs and got lots of positive reinforcement!  I have two puppies in Puppy Preschool that are solid, with wonderful people and dog skills, who love to play and work with us.  One of these puppies is deaf, but you wouldn't know it as she runs around the training room playing tag with Daisy, my beagle!!  Then I met a dog yesterday who will be staying with us while her family is on vacation -- what a sweetie!  She is engaging and fun and I can't wait to have her stay with us.

I love all of my students, but I really admire and enjoy my competition and my agility students!  We have fun together while learning together.  How reinforcing for all of us!  These handlers and their dogs are top-notch while still remembering that, no matter what happens in the ring, they are still each taking the best dog home.

These are my rewards, my positive reinforcement (of course, chocolate works too!).  These are the reasons I keep doing what I am doing, these are the reasons I deal with the issues both dogs and people have that need to be addressed, these are the reasons I continue to come up with new ways and reinvent old ways to teach dogs and people to build better relationships with each other.  I am so very grateful to LL the puppies, to all the dogs, to all the handlers -- thank you for encouraging me just by being you!!!

Photo by Ray Dutton.
Thank you Daisy -- for making me smile, for helping me to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up, and for always keeping me learning and growing.

It's Saturday and you know what that means -- the Saturday Pet Blogger Hop!!!  Enjoy these great blogs!


jet said...

hi from the bloghop!! :) I never really thought about the fact that trainers deal with problem dogs a lot of the time!

24 Paws of Love said...

Sounds like you finally found what you really wanted to be when you "grew up." Your enthusiam radiates through my screen. I'm glad you had a few special joys this week. I know all too well the challenge can be with just 6 dogs.

Saying hi from the blog hop.

24 Paws of Love