Hi GS Training Academy readers! In the last post, we went over two things you’ll be able to do once you’ve set up goals for your German Shepherd training. They are: defining expectations and training for specific tasks. In today’s post, which is a continuation of the previous post, we will be going over two factors you absolutely NEED to take into account when you are setting up your dog training goals. These factors are arbitrary and perhaps very obvious that sometimes it is easy to neglect them. We want to bring them up because although having goals for your dog training is a great thing, it is also important to make sure that these goals are realistic and attainable.
The first factor to consider when setting up a goal is your dog’s capabilities. If one of your goals is to register your dog to take part in a agility competition, be sure that your dog is up for it physically. As an example, an elderly dog or a dog with health issues such as joint problems will very unlikely be able to undergo training needed to compete in an agility competition. And if you still insist that your dog to participate in such competitions, it would not only cause him pain, but could also worsen your dog’s health condition(s) and cause injury.
The second factor is your capabilities as a dog owner. You may be working in a career that demands you to work more than 40 hours per week. You may have more than 2 or more children that require your attention. You may be taking courses in graduate school while still working. You may have other priorities above training your German Shepherd. Or, you may really want to train your German Shepherd so that he can participate in a competition, but time is limited. The fact is, everyone has their own personal goals as well as obligations and sometimes, it could be that we just have too much on our plates. And yes, to add training your German Shepherd on top of all those personal goals and obligations can be daunting and challenging. In a way, this goes hand in hand with defining expectations for your dog in the last post. Dog owners should be aware of what their capabilities and limitations are before they set up goals for their German Shepherd training.
Below is a flow chart of the typical steps a dog owner will experience in setting up and defining your German Shepherd Training goals.
You can always start by writing down both of these factors down on a piece of paper and listing down your thoughts for each factor. Then, once you’ve clearly defined the capabilities of your dog as well as yourself, think about what you think of when you envision a perfectly trained German Shepherd and jot this down as your goals. If by this step you feel confident that the goals that you’ve come up with are attainable even when taking into account all capabilities and limitations, then by all means, GO FOR IT! If, after you’ve listed down the capabilities and limitations of yourself and your German Shepherd and decide that your goals are not achievable, you should certainly go back to reassessing your capabilities and limitations to see if there’s you can compromise.
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