Did you ever have a training session or class where your 4legged friend was working hard, eager, excited, totally in the game and you. . . weren’t?
That was me at tonight’s Agility For Fun class.
I was just not in a place where I should be training new, complex behaviors. Even before I went I knew I was not in a great place, but with a class I always feel like I paid for it and I don’t want to miss the chance to learn.
Of course sometimes when I just don’t feel like training and I get started it’s so much fun I soon find myself forgetting everything else, playing games and having fun.
Unfortunately that was not to be the case tonight.
Okay confession time. . . I was so in my head in the first 5 minutes of class I stepped on Magnus toes twice! Humilating and horrible to say to the least.
The second time I stepped on him he had just come out of the tunnel, I was trying to get him to get into tugging and after that he would not tug the rest of the class. After that I just stopped everything. We went back to our mat and sat and T-touched and snuggled and just tried to reset.
I started with just slowing down. I sat and breathed and got in touch with him and tried to get out of my head a bit. Then I just started letting him play easy games, get on the things, touch, sits, downs, etc. Things I knew he could handle and I could richly reward.
He is such a trooper! After that he threw himself into doing his best and working for me. He still wouldn’t tug and he was really distractible, but honestly I was still not in the game and I wouldn’t have wanted to play with me either.
I know it’s dramatic, but tonight I felt like here I am-a positive trainer who tries to avoid the use of aversives, and at this class I was the aversive.
So what do you when your just not in the right frame of mind and it’s a class, or trial, or something?
At home I would just change gears, do something easier, more fun, or maybe not do any training at all. At a class there is the pressure I put on myself to get the most out of it and I want to know: Is it best to abandon ship and just call it quits for the night? Is there some way you use to change gears in your head and get in the game?
We spend lots of time figuring out how to get our pups in the game and keep them engaged, what about ourselves? Of course I may be the only Crazymomlady who deals with this level of crazy, but any suggestions are welcome.
As for Magnus? He seems to have survived and is now zonked out asleep in his spot at the end of the bed so hopefully no permanent damage was done. Hopefully he wont be burdened by being handlercapped by me too much of the time!