As many of you know I am pretty big into continuing education. I am constantly enrolled in some course trying to learn something. At this time of year I end up having more time to digest some of this great information.

One of the coaching groups I belong to has a mantra that I think is so appropriate for everyone training a dog that is ;

Progress not perfection.

It is too easy to try believe you are not accomplishing anything because you are not yet “brilliant.” Maybe you feel like you are just spinning your wheels and you will never move forward with anything! Or you look at your dog’s skill’s and compare them to a World Class agility dog and feel frustrated feeling you lack ability.

Try not to be too hard  on yourself and rather than grade yourself against someone else’s performance take an account of where you were with your dog training 5 years ago. Have you progressed? I bet you have! Rather than getting frustrated because your puppy isn’t tugging in all environments take stock of all of the environments he DOES tug in and move forward from there.

Progress, not perfection. That should be scale you grade yourself on. With this mindset you will allow yourself the pat on the back you deserve for your efforts. Sometimes it is just that little bit of reinforcement that gives you the motivation to push forward for more results rather than giving up and retiring to the couch for re-runs of Seinfeld.

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing. ~ Dr. Harriet Braiker

Today I am grateful to see how the lessons of life are mirrored for us in our dog training.