Saturday, June 12, 2010

Training Addiction

This is a question that I pondered recently while I was driving in my van. I absolutely love training dogs - even before I got involved in competing in dog sports, I was training animals. Before I had dogs, I had horses and I was just as passionate about training them. I have been training animals (horses, birds, dogs, cats, and anything else I could get my hands on) since I was 5 years old and my Dad bought me a Shetland Pony.

This question applies to all of dog sports - Why do we get so addicted to training our dogs?

I know for me, I thrive on variety, problem solving, and the challenge of continuing to improve in order to get better results. But that still doesn't answer the question as to why I am so passionate about the time I spend with them in training. For me, it goes much further than the training itself. The passion revolves around my desire to better my communication between each of my canine partners and the ultimate connection and bond that we develop as a team through the training sessions.  There is nothing better than finding a path of communication in a way that inspires them to enjoy the games we play together. I find that training dogs grounds me and keeps me focused on what is right in this world.

I'd be interested in hearing from you on this subject, as well.


  1. love the new blog look!

  2. An interesting question and well worth pondering. I think what has attracted me to this passion is the opportunity to keep learning new things and improving. To keep my mind busy with something positive and productive. I actually felt this way about my work about 20 years ago; these days most of the challenge in that is gone, but I get the same enjoyment out of training and competing, plus of course the very important aspect - the companionship of these amazing animals.

  3. Nancy, Very interesting about how you used to feel the same way about work as you do now in training dogs. I'm not sure I ever felt the same way about work as I feel about training. I always looked forward to coming home to train my dogs after work. I did love my job for the same reasons you and I both listed - the mental challenges, especially and the satisfaction of completing projects. However, there is just something magical about training for me. Thanks for your comments.

  4. Hm. Well, when you put it that way it is not the exact same feeling I had about work back in the day when it was new and challenging. There is an emotional component and "fullness" that comes with working with the dogs that was missing with work.

  5. I think you nailed it - an emotional component and "fullness". I don't think I've heard it said any better than that. I know that I never felt that same type of fulfillment from work.