A weakness sounds awful, doesn’t it? Not strong enough, not big enough, or something smaller than something else. Sometimes in our dog training we can find that we have weaknesses. Maybe we show a couple of weekends in a row and find that our heel is not as strong as we thought as our dog sniffs the mat in the turns. Or maybe if you leave your dog on a call back and look down to see him take you for a walk (was there!), You might come on a try to determine that your rock solid stays are not that rock solid. You have a weakness in your training. You have something in this performance that is not as strong as the other behaviors. I say let’s celebrate and get to work !!!
If you are to survive showing dogs (mentally and physically) you have to roll the punches and realize that you and your dog are both animals doing things in a moment and guess what? It may not be what you expected or even wanted. Maybe you are! You can turn the wrong way at a judge’s order to turn or forget and give both the verbal and the signals in the DOR exercise. IT’S OKAY! Guess what? It gives you something to work with and how boring life would be if everything we did went the way we wanted it to.
I have found over the years that if I have a problem with a behavior or a chain in my performance, my weakness in that moment, it inevitably becomes my strength. Actually out of necessity, because I hate that my training looks good and my trial looks bad. If something happens that surprises me or, despite my best training efforts, keeps me resolving it, I know that I will search for the answer until I find it and then my weakness will be strength, this problem is my solution now and I know more than I have ever done to train a certain behavior.
I find life really is the same as training, constant problem solving of things that came your way, that you didn’t expect or that you thought would happen in a certain way and it didn’t. This is constant feedback to you and you know what to do? Change what you do! Try something new, do it differently, in your life, how about reacting differently to something?
I remember traveling alone when I was younger, and I called my mother and spoke to her. We had a great conversation and in the end she asked me a question, always the same question, maybe put another way and it would upset me and I would answer briefly and our nice conversation with the woman I loved would end the same way, tight and with a bad feeling. When I was 26 I realized this had to stop. When we got to that point in the conversation and she asked the question, I paused and then told her I loved her. It didn’t need more. I changed what I did and she changed what she did and you know what? We had nice conversations and we ended up saying I love you. She died unexpectedly when I was 27 and that taught me a great lesson, do it now. Change it now. I have used this lesson in a number of ways throughout my life and I am glad. Our previous endings were a weakness, but as I changed my actions, they became a strength.
So stop looking at the things in your training and life that are driving you crazy as weaknesses, these are your future strengths, IF You change what you do and look for a different answer.
May your weaknesses become your strengths.