A Lesson in Patience

Posted on 08/11/10 83 Comments

Today’s post is all about patience and all of the places we need it in dog training/agility. I have never thought of myself as a particularly patient person however I do recognize the importance for such a virtue while training.  Here are a few areas I see patience important to each of us.

*Lets start with patience with the recent software whoas we are having with our recaller membership site. 🙂 I have been told  our e-lesson 10 will be up by Friday morning — by hook or by crook.  In addition all recallers please be on the look out for an email that is signing you up to your specific “level” in the recaller e-course. Don’t worry if you are going to upgrade later, we will move you when you do.

*Patience waiting for our puppies to grow up before we start training with age appropriate equipment or skills.

*Patience when executing rear crosses in agility because if we are in too much of a hurry we end up stalling out and taking speed away from our dogs.

*Patience in shaping– allow our dog’s to fail without jumping in to “help” them or make it easier for the dog.

*Patience with our family and friends as they try to understand why we want to spend so much time training our dogs.

*Patience with ourselves when we stumble and may feel like we will never “get it!”

*Patience with our fellow competitors who may choose to do things differently than you do.

Okay, your turn. Please add to my list of things where “patience” is a great asset in dog training.

Today I am grateful for a brand new internet connection here at home that takes my download speed from a whopping 0.67 Mb/s to 5.5 Mb/s. Whooo hooo!  No more trips to Starbucks to upload video for the e-course:).


  1. veronica says:
    Monday, August 16, 2010 at 5:28am

    Patience that I can better remember a “masters” or advanced course once walked.So we can be the team we have worked so hard for.

    How frustrating this is.


  2. Christine says:
    Monday, August 16, 2010 at 4:51am

    Patience to give each dog the time it needs to be ready and still train it.
    Patience to give us time to learn the lessons each dog is teaching us.
    Patience with our environment when it is not the way we would like it to be for our training plan.
    Patience with our friends and families when they teach our dogs what we do not want them to be tought.
    Patience with life that it is never predicatable.
    Christine S.


  3. Melissa says:
    Sunday, August 15, 2010 at 2:40pm

    Patience for dog trainers and myself as I struggle to learn a new way of thinking and doing things that will, in the end, pay off.
    Patience to give myself and my dog however much time is needed to do things right.
    Patience to train in short but valuable sessions and knowing when to quit while ahead.
    Patience to keep everything FUN and if you’re not in a fun mood it’s best to wait until you are.


  4. Angela M says:
    Saturday, August 14, 2010 at 2:23am

    me again, patience to allow other people to have their training styles even though i just don’t get it… and don’t know what Susan would do 🙂


  5. Barb Stanek says:
    Friday, August 13, 2010 at 6:19pm

    Patience to not do it all — even though I want to and want to now! Life needs some balance, I’ve found, and will demand it when it’s not there. Darn it. Why can’t life be just training dogs?!


  6. Kathryn says:
    Friday, August 13, 2010 at 9:36am

    When it comes to training, my problem is having way too much patience — so much that I rarely get to that irritation point you’ve talked about, the point where irritation drives change. Too much patience breeds a no-timeline approach in which everything fits into the category of “meh, if not today, then tomorrow.” Being too patient means that an awful lot of tomorrows can pass without the action required to create change.


  7. Angela M says:
    Friday, August 13, 2010 at 1:53am

    Patience with my 6 year old rescue dog who is a puppy at heart.


  8. jigsaw says:
    Friday, August 13, 2010 at 1:14am

    Being patient doesn’t mean I have to be boring!


  9. Catherine Clifton says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 10:06pm

    Patience with myself when I ask a question and later realize I should have been able to figure it out myself.

    Patience with my dogs that each of them has different aptitudes and what one excels at, another may struggle with. The patience to spend extra time training those things that come less easily to my dogs instead of spending more time on what they naturally do well just because it’s more fun to do what we feel more successful in.

    Patience to give myself and my dogs enough time to retrain a skill before they’re tested in trial instead of trying to rush the training because I’ve already entered . . . .

    And personally, I feel thankful that we’ve had a few days off from recallers since I’m away from my dogs at AiDT right now and I was feeling panicked about getting so far behind.


  10. Cindy says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 8:34pm

    having the patience to realize that my terriers’ avoidance actions were not due to his just being a terrier or to my training, but that he was in pain and needed chiropractic work to do as I asked of him. Quite a wake-up call.
    I feel lucky to be on the recallers course, so we can enjoy a new beginning.


  11. Craig says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 8:11pm

    Patience (in dog training) is recognizing that no matter how many time you’ve done or how familiar you are with a given exercise(s); you’re always learning how both you and the dog handle/perceive/react to the exercise(s) at the given moment. The next moment is an new exercise.
    I’m not certain if the above can be fully appreciated without any experience handling/dealing with a basenji.


  12. NTHOMPSON9640 says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 7:47pm

    Patience a quality that is dearly needed in agility and needed even more when training JRT’s. I have not got it. But I think that is why I was led to agility, led to Jacks and will start our journey tomorrow with my 21 month Dorsey at his first USDAA trial. Isn’t life interesting when you look back?


  13. Linda says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 6:40pm

    Having the patience to relax and enjoy my 2 1/2 yr old Cairn boy, and not be impatient because we seem to be taking forever to get his first agility title. Having the patience to appreciate his love of people as he stops in the middle of a run to visit the judge! And sometimes the ring crew, too!


  14. Mary M says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 6:35pm

    Susan—-wondering about the RC statement you made, when do you add this understanding in, I had not thought of not using this when beginning sequencing, as I teach with one jump and on the flat as foundation, didn’t realize it would slow down a novice dog?!

    See always learning something new…another test of patience with my own process!


  15. Mary M says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 6:33pm

    Patience with my little girl who seems to still have, out of nowhere issues with other dogs….so much potential and I keep having to tell myself we have nothing but time to continue to work this along side of working her in agility training, so that when we get to a place where the external environment doesn’t create so much distraction we can shine in competition!

    Also, patience with myself, I am, oh you could say, an a-type person, who wants to get it all right at once, continuing to learn to let some things go, to get the small stuff “right” as we put it altogether. Think this is why this dog has come my way 🙂

    Funny how our dogs do this for us, on our journey! – making us better dog trainers, and people, all at the same time.


  16. mtrebino says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 4:43pm

    Oh and I am quite happy for the break as I am sure others are so I can really work on all the things you have allready given us..so patience noooo problem margie


  17. mtrebino says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 4:42pm

    Patience with my new puppy that is yelping in the crate while I work my other dog or lay a track for her..she really want to be it ALL and makes it known loud and clear..Grant me the patience to change the things I can and accept the things I cannot..


  18. Lisa Runquist says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 4:20pm

    Patience when my bitch in season has lost her brain and doesn’t remember the first thing she knew.


  19. Gail Thompson says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 3:49pm

    With 4 Aussies…2 who are eight years old, one 2-1/2 years and 1-1/2 years patience is critical, and typcally not one of my strong suites. But I’m learning the true value and recently getting LOTS of opportunity to practice.

    Patience to take time to really visualize what I’m trying to accomplish (whether a new shaping activity or a new agility skill) before I try it….see it clearly the way it should be.

    Patience to ensure we (me and the baby dog) have the foundation skills solidly in place before jumping into the sequence…who knew you needed to teach our dogs how to jump correctly?….but what a difference it makes!

    Patience with the older two dogs who never experienced shaping before…don’t understand why it’s gotten a little harder to earn rewards?

    Patience with the younger two dogs, who don’t think they really need to practice.

    Patience to take time to do ALL of the recall exercises…even when the baby dog has “brilliant” results….bucause sometimes….they’re not so brilliant.

    Patience to think, before I speak or act.


  20. Jonelle Wolf says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 3:46pm



  21. jane n bobs says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 3:30pm

    Oh Wow and Wow again, my Bobs has got his
    mojo back….all this time I’ve been thinking he was’nt a)listening and b)having fun…tonight he has gone thru’ the whole repetoire with such gusto it has brought tears to my eyes..we’re on our way guys and then some. Patience really is a virtue eh!!!!!


  22. Coleen Timmons says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 3:15pm

    Patience to finally realize that it’s ok to take my own time. Serious health problems over many years and almost dying from a pulmonary embolism this past feb and having my baby boy Rogue who alerts for my asthma which I myself am not mindful of come and stay with me all day every day for a week in the hospital. This has truly hit home about what is important. For 24 years showing dogs it’s always been the drive to win and be the best. I have been very fortunate. Rogue himself was in 3 Top Tens las year and had an obedience HIT before he was 2. But it finally dawned on me with him never complaining and ever loyal staying with me in that hospital bed that is what is most important, just being with him. So I am learning the patience that I don’t have to show in 7 venues this year like I did last year. ( though he is right now again in 3 Top Tens) that I can actually take my time and not get upset with myself for being behind in the course. That every day for us is a gift. We will get there. Patience was never in my vocabulary before. I look forward to catching up and now with the upgrade I can have this course to train my next dog too. Thank you Susan you have always inspired me!


  23. Jenny Ruth Yasi says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 3:13pm

    That’s kind of funny. I posted that in the wrong place. Sorry about that. Patience!


  24. Jenny Ruth Yasi says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 3:10pm

    Oh! I haven’t seen any of the lessons yet! I can’t find them now either. Lessons one through nine? I hate to admit how lost I am. It’s started? How do I find the clips?


    • Suzy Whymark says:
      Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 7:57pm

      Oh Jenny – You don’t know how good it made me feel to read your post! I was all ready to post:”OK – it’s official – I’m a doofus. I can’t find the lesson page – only the blog. Where are they???”

      I found day one before – but that’s all I’ve done 🙁


  25. Kathy Smith says:
    Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 2:43pm

    Patience for next year’s Nationals where I am going to have a left and right like Feature!! And not have a bad streak of luck with a DW falloff..

    Patience to watch your Gambles and know that following you and your training techniques have got me on the right track and made me walk on air all Nationals weekend as I watched your dogs and know that sooner or later we will be right behind you!! (Notice I did not say ahead of you as I watched how incredible your dogs were!!)

    It was so awesome watching you and your happy dogs Susan!!

    Kathy and the Kelpies


    • Bev Anderson says:
      Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 3:36pm

      Patience with going ‘back’ to basics and foundation work with the older one and starting a puppy. It is so rewarding when your dogs do what you have asked (& you ask CORRECTLY) to see their happy faces and know they enjoy working with you as a team.

      Would have loved to have seen you and your dogs ‘live’ at the Nationals Susan. . . thanks for sharing the videos. You & your dogs make it look so smooth and easy!

      back to recalls



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