I would be lying if I said I did not get frustrated at times, when training my dogs. I would also be lying if I said I did not get frustrated at times, with friends and family. This is a very natural feeling when our personal expectations are not met. However, it is important to also know that there are times our dogs get frustrated with us when they do not understand what we are trying to teach them. Frustration can be part of any relationship. As humans, we at times miscommunicate or have misunderstandings between us and we speak the same language. It is even more likely we may have trouble communicating with another species, like our canine companions.
When I get frustrated I will typically give myself a time out and reset. If I continue training when I am not in a good mindset, I will not be as effective. My timing or cues will likely be off. I also like to re-think what I am doing and change things because, evidently, what I have been doing is not working. If my dog seems to be getting frustrated I will switch to something he knows well so he can have a successful end to our training session.
There are also times that regression in training occurs. This can be part of the process depending on what you are trying to teach. This can be especially hard on the humans as we have worked so hard to teach new behaviors and get to a certain point only to fall back. Just like when we are learning new things there are times we do not do it perfectly; sometimes we regress back to our old habits. What is important is to just “shake it off”, regroup, and continue learning.
Training is a journey, not a destination.