Expectations, Relationships, and Gratitude




Today, Stacy, Robin, and Crystal reflect on the reality that, as K9 handlers, our expectations don’t often play out in the long term quite as we expect them to.

Listen in as our hosts talk about the awkwardness of receiving unsolicited advice for simply sharing their interesting training experiences with their neurodivergent dogs, and how to move forward regardless in your quest to hone your skills as a trainer.

They explain the vital differences between getting clear on what you as the handler can accomplish, what the dog can accomplish, and what your goal as a trainer is.

They also speak on the necessity of managing expectations when taking on a new dog, why being “gifted” with a difficult dog is an opportunity to become a more multidimensional trainer, and how to help your dog unlock their fullest potential.

“We are a compilation of the dogs we trained. They all teach us. Every dog gives us a special gift.”

Key Topics:

  • Working with a neurodivergent dog (02:58)

  • Networking at trials for sport professionals (10:20)

  • Replicating “once-in-a-lifetime” dogs by building your training chops (18:20)

  • Mourning your dog’s passing and learning from your experience training them (23:27)

  • Becoming a better trainer with each dog (32:06)

  • Living up to your dog’s expectations (38:27)

  • Seeing yourself as being “gifted” with a difficult dog (45:20)

  • Final takeaways (55:57)

Resources:

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