Just as with any form of training in life, whether it’s working out, studying, or practicing an instrument, incorporating an element of enjoyment is crucial for maintaining the motivation to excel. The same principle holds true for dog training. If you don’t find yourself smiling at your dog at least five times during a practice session or laughing out loud at their mistakes, the process of working on your dog’s behaviors may become less enjoyable. It’s a guaranteed fact that if you’re not having fun, neither is your dog!
It’s important to remember that dog training, whether focused on behavior modification, refining known cues, learning new commands, or simply exploring your dog’s preferences, should include moments of fun amid the practice of other behaviors. This could involve introducing a playful trick, incorporating a short play session, or even taking a “quiet” moment for bonding and reassessing your goals. The possibilities are diverse and countless, as each partnership (handler and dog) is unique.