TOP TIP: It’s easy to end up handling reactively when we’re lacking confidence… we’re ‘not sure’ about what our dog will do… yet although that gives us useful training data sometimes, it also means we can end up communicating doubt to our dog, which in turn can dent what confidence they may possess, which you can see becomes a bit of a vicious circle.
DECIDE to handle pro-actively and with expectancy– does your dog know their job? Then let them show you. It doesn’t make them or you bad if it doesn’t go to plan, it’s training data. That’s all. SO WHAT you didn’t get the sparklingly clear round you wanted, you learned and nobody died.
The more that you can handle confidently and pro-actively, the more you free your dog up to do their job. You’ll be handling clearer, giving them better information and coming off a course with more enjoyment and anticipation for the next one.
How YOU are feeling impacts your handling and affects your dog- both directly (in how confidently you’re communicating and WHAT you’re communicating) and indirectly (because your dog can read you like a book and knows when you’re inwardly having a meltdown!)
Have you seen reactivity creeping into your handling? Where does it strike you?