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What to do when you get frustrated while training

Have you ever been frustrated while you're working with your dog? Probably! Training can be frustrating, usually because our expectations and needs of the dog do not match up with the dog's expectations and needs of us and the environment!

It's really important to notice when you are frustrated with your dog! You can usually feel that first rise of frustration, so acknowledge it and take action with one of these options:

1) Accept the fact that you're frustrated and train through it. Use deep breathing or zen or whatever works for you!
2) Stop training for a bit, do some play or wandering around, then go back to training when you feel better.
3) Go back to something very easy that your dog does well. Do that for a while, then gradually transition back into the more difficult work.
4) Just stop for the day, altogether. Put the dog up and do something else.

If your dog isn't responding to your training the way you'd like it to, it's most likely that the dog is either confused and doesn't know what you want, or it's too distracted or just having a bad day. Neither of these are capital offenses! A session like this from time to time is normal, even with an experienced dog and an excellent handler.

If you find that the majority of your training sessions are ending in frustration, or if you get to the point where training seems to be futile, then let me know! You and/or your dog might just be at a learning plateau. Learning plateaus often precede huge improvements, so wouldn't it be a shame to quit now!

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