Accepting Failure in TrainingAccepting Failure in Training


Yesterday I got Lucifer, my year old German Shepherd, evaluated for protection sports and he failed. Pretty epically.

He was the most uncomfortable I’d ever seen him and I won’t lie, I spent a good amount of time mulling over what I had done wrong as his owner and trainer.

The reality of the situation is, it was too much for him and I really couldn’t have known that without seeing it.

I’ve taken this dog all over the place, and done a ton of environmental socialization but this was completely different. I don’t have regular access to warehouses where high drive dogs are leaving their scent all over the place or regular interaction with decoys.

I definitely felt like a failure yesterday. While I hadn’t expected greatness, I also didn’t expect my outgoing, obnoxious boy to get that overwhelmed.

Today is a new day and I’ve adjusted our training plan to help him overcome those feelings in the future. Will he ever be a protection sport dog? Probably not, at least not a great one but hopefully the next time we walk into a situation like that, he’ll be better prepared for it.

Failure is a high probability in dog training. Whether your training obedience, sport, behavior modification, ect. There will be failures, set backs, and issues. Figuring out how to overcome or readjust our training to best overcome these things makes us and our dogs all the better for it.