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  • Writer's picturekier scott

Expect More

This blog is brought to you by Diamond T Cowhorses and The Bullpen Arena. Check out their full range of products on their Facebook page. They've been long time supporters of Herding East and I personally recommend them. Thanks again to Tom and Micaela Thorlakson for their excellent friendship and support.

This might be surprising, but this blog has been one of the harder blogs I've decided to write. I think it's mostly because it is one of my more complex ideas. See, how I write these is I start with some kind of idea or point I want to write about then I ramble about it for as close to a two minute read as I can get. The harder ones to write are the ones that could very well come across negative but I want them to be positive. The blog called "The New Handler" is a great example. This blog is one of those. I've said many times that people shouldn't have unrealistic expectations of their dogs being perfect. And in a way this is another blog on that. Something I hate hearing people say is "my dog can't do that" or "my dogs not ready for that". Now I agree, those statements can certainly be true in the process of your training. BUT those same statements can quickly become a block to your progress. It's the fine line between being realistic and making excuses. A very similar example is when the average dog owner says something like "my dog pulls on the leash, always has". Which is very much like saying "I let my dog pull me around, I don't feel like changing that". Your dog doesn't pull on the leash if you spend time and patience on it. And if you push your herding training you'll quickly run out of things they can't do. Of course there are things that some dogs are categorically not able to do. I mean some dogs will never bite a nose. But here's the thing; you don't know if a dog can't do something until you try it 100 times. That same thing won't get to the next level if you don't then make it harder the next 100 times you do it. What I think confuses people is that they get pulled into a false sense of security by good dogs or by already trained dogs. I've seen dogs who are effective at lifting sheep on day one. I've seen others who took months of practicing before they got it. If you had worked the talented dog first then the second dog would feel impossible at first. The only true way to decide what a dog can and cannot do is through consistent and patient effort. You have to have a high standard that you are working towards. Don't settle for things that aren't at the level you want until you've truly worked at it. It's true, great dogs damn near train themselves but good dogs aren't good until they're trained to be.

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