Failing Your Way to Dog Training Success

I think history has proven that learning happens primarily through mistakes, that is what “experience” is all about.  Some of the world’s greatest successes have also been amongst the biggest failures. Thomas Edison, who most famous invention was the lightbulb said this when asked about all of his failures

“I didn’t fail, I just found 10,000 ways it didn’t work.”

In addition to the lightbulb old Edison also held 1,093 U.S. patents as well as many other patents in the UK, France and Germany. Funny story, and totally inspiring about him, is that when ole Tommy boy was a child of  4 he was sent home from school with a note that explained he was being expelled from school because he was “too stupid to learn”. He only had 3 months of formal schooling, one of the first great “home school” success stories, I guess eh?

Did you know that Michael Jordan (the best basketball player of all time) was cut from his high school basketball team, one of my favourite Michael quotes is;

“I’ve failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”

And of course, being Canadian, I have to include the great quote from hockey’s all time greatest player, “the great one” Wayne Gretzky;

“You will always miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

Imagine the rejection these superstars felt, enough frustration and rejection I am sure to consider walking away from their dream for ever.

Last night I caught the tail end of a TV show called “The X Factor” There was a young hip hop artist performing and he was amazing (I love hip hop). Apparently he was voted to be in the bottom two and was in risk of being booted off of the show and had to “sign for his life” to earn a chance to stay. When it was his turn to sing he was thinking he wouldn’t do it. His attitude was if people didn’t think enough of me to leave me in the bottom two, I don’t want to sing for them. He is a young kid and likely this was one of first major failures in his life and it was public. His current attitude (and I really hope it changes because I LOVE his music) is a common one amoungst the millions of people that will never achieve their dreams, reach their potential or change history.

Failure is the greatest teacher and although it is often bruising to the ego, it is really a true friend. You know like one of those friends,  who is brutally honest with us, one of those “just telling it like it is” kind of friend.

Although sometimes difficult, it is so important to keep this in mind when training your dog. If you can learn from each failure and learn from the feedback of your dog’s failures, dog training becomes less complicated and more rewarding for both you and your dog. But communication between dog and trainer must go two ways…we need to listen as well as teach.

Learning from your dog is one of my top ten suggestions when designing a game to help you overcome a dog training challenge (if you want to see the full list just go and watch the latest in video in this week’s webfest of free videos.) Can you imagine if people like Edison had given up on his 9,999th attempt? You will never know when eureka moment is going to hit and the lightbulb will come on . . .so to speak.

For me that trueth is what  keeps me trying new things.

Today I am grateful to each of you that are sharing your struggles and leaving awesome comments on the webinars this week. Oh by the way, we are going to have a LIVE webinar on Monday night, will be a blast it will be both Lynda Orton-Hill and myself on camera sharing laughs and digging deep into dog training . . . how much fun is THAT.

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