I love training. And my dog loves training. When we are practicing a certain skill or just goofing off, my dog lights up when the training games start and her joy with the process brightens my whole day. Yet sometimes I find myself in a bit of a training slump—today is one of those days. Why is that? How do I get motivated when the day is busy or I’m tired or I’d rather check Facebook?
Here are a few things that have worked for me in the past:
- Focus on the process. When I think about looking for opportunities to click and treat, I want to train. But when I focus on the outcome or goal, sometimes I’m a little overwhelmed. I find staying in the moment helps me keep me excited about training.
- Make it a game. When we train using games and toys, my motivation goes up. I love to invite my dog to play—and she loves it too. Somehow, training takes on a whole new meaning when it also involves balls and tugs and running together.
- Train with a friend. I have a friend I meet with regularly and we walk and train with our dogs. It is a great motivator for me. Social expectations pay off.
- Take a class. I am super motivated when I take a class—at least during the class session J. I like to try new things, get feedback from others, and, yes, show off a little with my pup too.
What motivates you to train? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.