"My dog knew the answers all along!"

We have received many lovely stories of people experiencing OneMind Moments. Let's hear another story!

We at OneMind Dogs love seeing our students learn and realize something that helps them along their journey in agility. That's why we want to share with you stories about people having their OneMind Moments, eye opening moments when they have realized something very important about agility.

This story by one of our Premium members will bring a tear to your eye:

"One of the biggest lessons I have learned from OneMind Dogs was that if you have tried to teach something about 5 times and you are still struggling, let it go and move on. At this time, you may not know why your dog is not getting it but later on in your process you may realize why it did not work.

When Bliss was a young dog I spent YEARS trying to get her to come to side on a shoulder pull. These sessions with her were some of the worst training I have ever done in my dog training experience. My mother was in and out of the hospital trying to fight lung cancer and although I lived 45 minutes away, I was there almost every day dealing with doctors and treatments. I was teaching full time and had very limited training time for myself. My sessions with Bliss, trying to get her to comply and come to side after a shoulder pull were wrought with frustration and even anger at her “willfulness”. My attitude only served to frustrate her and destroy any joy either of us had for the game.

Years later in my first seminar with Janita Leinonen from OMD she said that if you have failed to teach something in 5 sessions, move on. When I mentioned that I had spent years trying to teach the Shoulder Pull to Bliss she smiled at me and said, “That’s because the shoulder pull doesn’t work!”

Mind Blown……

On a snowy weekend after my trip to Florida to work with Janita and Jaakko I sat on my computer in the mountains and went back over seminar and trial videos of Bliss and me. In many of the videos, my frustration with her and her frustration with me was clear. I sat in tears feeling like I had ruined one of the best dogs I had ever worked. My sense of guilt was profound. Bliss, however, enjoyed the best weekend of her life with her human making it up to her in every way…steak, snow and snuggling by the fire. I was forgiven.

Forgiving myself was not as easy and I have come to terms with my mistakes by vowing to never hold my dog accountable for problems that I may not understand the cause of. Now, issues are handled by discussing it with training friends or mentors and not in the training ring. I look for alternative ways to solve the problem and am thinking more outside the box. I must admit it is very liberating to be able to let go of a training issue instead of spending months stressing over it.

Years ago, I shifted my expectations with Bliss and removed any competitive goals that I had with her. I felt as if I was creating undue stress for her and that it was not fair for me to put my needs above hers. Now that I have a much deeper understanding of how my dogs learn and how my dogs read me I understand why things did not work for us. I have spent the last year, and especially the last 6 months working on ME and how I was communicating the course to my dogs.

Although I have not spent lengthy training sessions with Bliss, the shift in our teamwork has been tremendous. We are connected and I can see the excitement that Bliss has for the training and for the competing.

This summer for the first time ever, at 9 years old, Bliss stood on the podium at the Rocky Mountain Regional. For me, that stance meant so much more than a placement in a field of very talented dogs. For me it was an amazing stop on a journey with a fabulous dog that I had misunderstood for almost 9 years!

Nicole (and Bliss….who knew the answers all along!)"

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Comments

Terri Moyers

Thank you for this!

1 week, 1 day ago

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