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Help! I Am Failing at Getting My Dog to Listen, and I Am Beyond Frustrated! – Dog Training – Salt Lake City

Johanna Teresi -Dog Obedience Course - Salt Lake City - Dog Training - Border Collie

Are you stressed about not being able to train your dog? Do you feel that you are failing and cannot get your dog to listen or respond? Are you wondering what you are doing “wrong”?

These questions and feelings are normal during dog training, and you are not alone! We assure you that you can create success and get your dog to listen.

I have worked with many clients and have noticed a common pattern during dog training. Salt Lake City clients are often afraid of failing.

Many of you want to do train perfectly and don’t want to train in the “wrong” manner. There is a fear that if you do it wrong you may ruin your dog. You may also fear that you just cannot train “correctly”.

I wanted to write this post about failure. Failure is normal and is going to happen in life. You might be feeling angry while reading this, and you will feel happier after you read the entire post.

There is no way around failure. The good news is that you can stop trying to avoid failure. When you train your dog you will fail and do it “wrong” sometimes.

You won’t always clearly communicate with your dog. You may feel confused on what to do. Your dog may get confused. This is normal and is part of the process.

When I started doing dog training, I failed often. I felt so frustrated when I started using the clicker. I read how successful the clicker can be and yet I didn’t feel as if I was doing it “right”.

My dog just kept ignoring me and getting distracted. It took years of practice and learning for me to get excellent at clicker training.

However, I never stopped failing. I just kept training even when I was doing it “wrong”. I didn’t give up. I did it, and I didn’t get the results I wanted.

Then I would learn more. I would do it again and not get results. After failing many more times, I would do it again and finally get results.

I honestly don’t want you to struggle as much as I did when I first started training, but I do want you to get that perfection is not the key to success.

Problem solving, asking productive questions, focusing on the solution, and allowing yourself to fail is what creates successful dog training. Salt Lake City clients of Four Legged Scholars have expressed gratitude in learning to accept failure.

When you are training, you may treat too often, not treat enough, click at the wrong time, forget to give a treat after clicking, train in a too distracting environment, etc.

I want you to embrace failure. When your dog doesn’t listen to you instead of beating yourself up mentally be compassionate and understanding toward yourself and your dog.

Then ask yourself a productive question such as “I wonder how I can get my dog to listen?”, “I wonder what I can do this differently?”, “How can I be more kind to myself and my dog?”.

These questions will reframe your mind to create successful dog training. Salt Lake City dog trainers want you to be successful so if you are struggling get help.

Instead, allow yourself to fail, learn from it and move forward. Then, if you are struggling too much, get help from some professional dog trainers. Salt Lake City has many reward-based training courses that can help you.

Now go practice failing and then you will create successful dog training!


Johanna Teresi, Professional Dog Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training, Salt Lake City, Utah

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