"It is the human who mistakes the interpretation of the dog’s reaction…we miss what is guiding them to react."
I had a horrible work session the other day with my dogs. I was tired and in some pain from lifting patients at work. My negative energy was very much felt by my dogs. I was reactive and not listening to my dogs. I felt badly for them.
I read the above quote and studied it. When I went out to work my dogs in the desert today, I took time to watch, learn, and listen. What a difference a day makes when you take the time to listen!
Yoko had been telling me she didn't want flags being waved in her face and thumped on the ground. Heck, she bends over backwards to do what I ask. What was I thinking? The important fact is that I recognized that I was NOT thinking. I haven't been pleased with Yoko's driving because she doesn't have her mother's come forward push. (Careful what you wish for :0) I have been nagging her relentlessly. Today I sat in a chair by my stock trailer and had Yoko drive a 150 yd. square with me in my chair. She didn't have any problems. She never looked back at me for advice. She was doing her job. She did it efficiently.
Wake up and smell the roses when things aren't going well. Most likely it is the handler causing the problem. Sometimes we need a professional on-looker to tell us what the problem is, but other times if you just take the time to "observe" you can figure it out by yourself.