Everyone I teach has different ambitions and dreams for the relationship they have with their dog.
They range from new owners with their first puppy, feeling their way through the minefield of training advice; to top-flight agility competitors with their eye on specific competition prizes.
Each ambition is equally valid, despite being poles apart. And funnily enough, how they get there is going to be pretty similar.
First off you need to set some goals - some tangible road marks on the way to where you want to be. I love the acronym SMART for goal setting:
So a well-written goal for someone struggling with house training their 14 week old puppy who is toileting all over the house several times a day might look like this:
Reduce toilet training accidents down to 2 per day, by the time puppy is 16 weeks of age.
Specific (toilet training accidents), measurable (2 per day), actionable (reduce), realistic (for a puppy of that age), time bound (age of puppy).
For agility competitors looking for extra help and advice I should tell you that when I'm setting competition goals I always seek help from Dr Kathrine McAleese from Mind To Win - she's just the woman to have in your corner when you have a big, audacious sassy goal you want to reach :)
You see once you have a goal you have something to work with - a clear vision for what is you're trying to achieve. Then you can put in place the building blocks to get there!
I've just sat down to write some of mine in preparation for the autumn/ winter training season that's coming up. My building blocks will include scheduling time, booking training 1-2-1's and workshops, plus putting together a list of what skills need revision or work.