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  • Writer's picturekier scott

Measure Your Own Success

Trialing is great and winning is even better but there are so many other ways of measuring your success. Here’s the reality, most people won’t win. That’s kind of the point of having one winner. Even so, there is a usual crowd that find themselves in the winners circles. I have some theories why but let’s tackle that another day. It does leave a problem for the average handler however. If I’m not winning, am I still successful? The answer is largely a yes. Especially when you think how many people own dogs vs how many are able to do what you do with dogs. If you are able to get a dog to herd livestock with any efficacy at all, you’re far above your average joe. I don’t want to say that being a stock dog handler increases your sex appeal, but can you afford not to find out? This whole stock dog thing is damn difficult and just being capable is an accomplishment. It’s super easy to become discouraged but you should always remind yourself how you’ve improved. I normally do this by goal setting. I like to set a goal with my dog and then work towards that. I’ll give an example. I’ll tell myself, this week I want to have this pup working off of the long line. If I get there then I know I improved. Just as a side note, never take a dog past it’s ability in favour of your own goals. I’ll also work my dog without training periodically to see where they’re at. Whether that’s doing a job at home or just working a set of livestock in a pen. I’ll watch and see how the dog is doing with what I’m asking and how are they handling their stock. If the dog sucks, I ask myself “did I create this or is this dog simply not good.” My ego being what it is, I normally blame the dog. Even if you don’t set goals, at least have yard posts. Like a yard post can be anything but it has to be something measurable. Even if it’s small like having your dog take a side it was sticky on before, or penning a set of sheep you hadn’t penned before. Those can be great yard posts. That way you measure against yourself. The people that are winning know how to win and you don’t yet. That’s ok. Those people were new once as well and they sure as hell weren’t born winning. Except for me, I’ve always been winning. (I actually haven’t always been winning but it’s hard to market yourself without exte

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