You can’t force it. The best advice!

The best advice I’ve ever received.

You can’t force it!Why is this the best advice I’ve ever received regarding my pets, and most likely my life in general?

Getting advice

If you’ve been doing anything for any period of time, you’ll eventually get advice; probably lots of it. But sometimes that advice is more helpful than others.Whether it’s dogs, cats or horses, this piece of advice is the best one I ever received. Even though it is one of the hardest to apply when I want to get something done.

It is:“You can’t force it”.Sounds simple, right. And pretty much a “No duh!” But then I find myself in a situation. I might be working with a pet to master a new skill. They seem like they might be starting to get there and it just takes a little bit more push. That is where this piece of advice comes in.

It’s so tempting

I’ve learned that it’s at that point when I most want to push it. They’re so close! At least it seems that way to me. But animals have a way of knowing that you’re impatient. They know that you want something really bad and are losing patience. They start to wonder why?

Pets don’t think of deadlines and goals. They think in the moment for the most part. Does this feel good? Do I feel scared? Is there too much pressure? Why does she want this so badly? Maybe I should get away, either mentally or physically.

When they wonder why, they pull back. They start to be confused or lose trust. This is when I have to remind myself that you can’t force it.

They feel the stress that you project whether you realize it or not. When I remember the real purpose of being with my pets; the bond we are constantly building, I am more likely to back off and be patient. I’m more likely to remember. It’s not me molding an object. It’s a team effort.

You can’t force it

A small step with a reward tells them that they are doing it right. The number of steps might seem extreme to me, but animals don’t work on timetables. They get there when they get there. If I’m doing it right, they’ll get there. It’s not force that works; it’s patience, teamwork and understanding.

Reinforcement training is a perfect example of not forcing it. Read my post Do it again! The power of reinforcement training.

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