Training Tip: Off Days

Archer and Bernie having a lazy day.

There will be days where no matter how much you love training and working with your dog, that you just can’t muster up the energy or enthusiasm to get it done. And it’s easy to beat yourself up for it, as we know that consistency is key when teaching new behaviors, especially if you are trying to modify problem behaviors, or work with your fearful or reactive dog.

That being said, it is okay. It’s okay to have an off day and not get training done, in fact it’s okay to have an off week, even. We are only human, and sometimes we need a break, or we just get overwhelmed with other responsibilities. Go ahead and take a break, this is when you can practice your management skills. Avoiding your dog practicing unwanted behavior while training (or not training), is an important skill, and benefits your training goals. The more a dog practices a behavior, the better they get at it. The less they practice behaviors you don’t like, the better!

However, keep in mind that if you are not working with your dog consistently, going at their pace, and communicating clearly, you cannot be upset that the behavior isn’t where you want it. Management is wonderful and an important part of the picture, but the only thing that will move the training along is time, practice, and patience.