Let’s talk about teaching your dog a new behaviour, specifically proofing behaviours.
Think about how you taught your dog anything- how did you go about it?
Once you thought they knew what they were supposed to do, what did you do next?
At some point in the process, you will have tested their knowledge, right? You want to know that they really do understand their job- so whether you do it as you go along (e.g. taking your weaves to different places at each stage of teaching) or whether you teach them something thoroughly in one environment before trying it elsewhere- at some point you’re going to proof what your dog does. You’re going to generalize the behaviour and aim to proof it against distractions etc.
You’re no different!
And you my friends are no different. Once you start learning your new mindset attitudes and behaviours, you’re going to have to keep training them! Just like I talked about before in train your brain like your dog’s contacts (blog), you have to practice, train and KEEP WORKING at it. And just like you’d keep reinforcing throughout your dog’s career, the same is true for you in your mindset training.
And as you get the hang of it, you need to PROOF it- perhaps not with big lumps of sausage as distractions, but working on different distractions- working out which distractions you can now ignore and where you need to do a bit more work.
You also need to generalize behaviour: You wouldn’t expect your dog to generalize everything perfectly the first time it had ever worked away from your training ground, so why expect yourself to? You’d adjust for different weather, equipment etc. for your dog- the same is true for you!
Just because your job doesn’t change as you compete in qualifiers, semis, finals etc., doesn’t mean that you’ll instantly generalize the way you might like to. It takes practice!
So keep working- even after you’ve attended my seminar or taken my online classes, don’t think that’s it- that’s really where the work begins! You learn WHAT to do, we’ll always have discussed where YOU are strong or have growth areas (assuming you actually participated of course!) and then you get to go out to train and proof it for yourself!
PROOF your mindset by keeping working at it- working out where your strengths are, and where you still have room to grow. And like you would for your dog- get training!! You don’t need to go it alone, and having an outsider’s perspective can really save you a lot of grief.
Be kind to yourself the way you would your dogs- and KEEP WORKING!!
HOW do I know YOU can do this?
Check out the child below.
That child is learning to walk- he’s going to fall a LOT. But he’ll get up and keep trying again and again, until he gets the hang of this walking thing. That was once you. Learning to walk… learning to eat with a knife and fork, learning to read and write, later on learning to ride a bike, later still learning to drive- you didn’t get the hang of any of those things without practice, work and multiple failures (which did sometimes hurt!). But YOU KEPT GOING. And THAT, my friend, is how I know that YOU, YOU reading this right now, can change your mindset, because you have a track record of hanging in there and making changes that enable you to do things you once couldn’t. You have a history of successful change.
Have a great day, and come over to Facebook and tell me one thing that you want to ‘proof’ for yourself!
Kathrine McAleese, M.S. is the dog sports psychotherapist, performance coach, speaker, writer and cheerleader of excellence. Her unique talent is helping dog handlers take simple, useable mindset principles to build their confidence and focus so they can compete as well as they train. She has been helping clients reach their dog sport goals since 2005 and, serving dog owners worldwide, Kathrine’s seminars, workshops and hugely successful online courses help average and elite competitors alike to get results.
“It’s hard to explain how much better I feel knowing that I’ve got so much more to work on with my mind and with Pip, but everything is so positive now, (even the poor runs!) Keep up the good work… you can take all the credit for the way I’ve changed.” Edwina Brown
“Thank you Mind to Win – you’ve definitely helped Mum – she held her nerve and kept calm and we came 4th overall in the Large Novice ABC yesterday at Discover Dogs and now we’ve qualified for Crufts!!” ‘Henry’ Lyon
“Thank you! Loved your talk today, lots to think about and juggle with (ps cool boots too)” – Sue White
“Mum really enjoyed your talk at the KC seminar yesterday – she’s come back buzzing! Lots of positiveness (is that a word!) for next weekend at DD. Thank you” – ‘Henry’ Lyon
“Have to say also it was brilliant this weekend. Thank you so much for coming over. I am still buzzing.” -Rebecca Taylor
“Thank you for a great seminar and clinic this weekend. Really enjoyed both, and have taken lots away to put into practice :-)” -Kath Veale
“Thanks very much for 2 fantastic sessions. I’ve learnt a lot and will be taking loads forward with me.” -Sharron Taylor