Are you ready for the peaks and valleys?
“I resolve says, "I will." The man says, "I will climb this mountain. They told me it is too high, too far, too steep, too rocky, and too difficult. But it's my mountain. I will climb it and you will soon see me waving from the top or dead on the side from trying." ~ Jim Rohn
It’s been my experience that the most meaningful accomplishments in my life have also been the hardest mountains to climb. The dogs who have made the biggest behavioral transformations or learned the most complicated skills have also been the hardest for me to train. I often post videos and pictures of my dog Ina helping me to train foster dogs or performing difficult scent detection searches… but would you believe that she used to explode into a tantrum of clawing and biting me when we encountered a strange dog? She started out as a highly dog reactive dog that I couldn’t control and I didn’t understand. It was a long LONG journey to get to where we are today. We hit dead ends, we got stuck at impasses, and we sometimes got derailed by overwhelming confusion or embarrassment. It was a damn hard climb. But as long as we were going somewhere, upwards/sideways/even backwards we still had hope. We never quit trying, even when we were doing everything wrong. Training dogs is a journey of peaks and valleys, some days everything goes right and you have reached top of a beautiful peak and the very next day it can all fall apart and leave you standing in a swampy valley. But if you zoom out and look at the big picture, your general trend is upward. It’s a jagged climb of ups and downs, but your overall elevation is continuing to increase. So the next time you feel discouraged or like quitting, remember that as long and you resolve to say “I will” and keep trying, you are making upward progress. Happy training my friends!