Dealing with Post Certification or Competition Mental Exhaustion


Today, Stacy, Robin, and Crystal reflect on certifications, focusing on the mental aspects you need to manage with a trial, test, certification, or deployment. They discuss the emotional ups and downs of the process as well as what they have learned from passing and failing trials.

They dive into the logistics of earning certifications, their most exciting and most challenging experiences, considerations around safety and style in setting up trials and choosing trials to take part in, the influence of your energy on your dog’s energy, and the similarities between sport and certification.

Handling a dog is like “dancing with a dog.” The handler’s responsibilities expand beyond the basics of training into mindfulness, smart reinforcement, and developing strategies for approaching certifications and trials.

Key Topics:

  • Episode intro + what will be discussed (1:22)

  • The emotional journey of certifications (1:38)

  • Influencing your dog with your energy (14:24)

  • The excitement of competition (17:54)

  • Safety and style in trials (22:24)

  • Using trials as educational tools (36:23)

  • Handling your leash (46:53)

  • Improving your mental game (51:46)

  • Comparing sport with certification (57:10)

  • Concluding thoughts (1:07:50)

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