For those of us who love training our dogs, it can be difficult for us to justify taking time off from training. But there are some really good reasons to NOT train your dog if you are sick, tired, sad, or just generally feeling poorly.
1. Enthusiasm & Excitement. Enthusiasm and excitement are a big part of training. Sure, depending on how we are feeling, there is some amount we can fake. But your dog knows. Don’t go into a training session you want your dog to be excited about if you aren’t excited about it too.
2. Energy. This ties easily into the same line of thought as reason number 1. When I train my dogs, I want them to give it there all. I want energy and stamina. So, again, if I am not able to give 100%, how can I expect 100% from them?
3. Focus. Let’s face it, the truth is, it can be VERY challenging to focus on a task when you are not feeling well. Don’t take on the challenge of trying to improve your dog when you don’t have the focus to mark and reward to your best possible ability.
4. Emotions. The best training sessions start and end with a happy dog and trainer. But, if you are not yourself, even a great training session can end with a disappointed, frustrated, or deflated handler. It doesn’t matter how many times you say “Good boy”. If you’re sad your dog will know it. He just won’t know that it isn’t related to his training session, and that it isn’t his fault.
5. Confusion. Criteria is easily one of the most important aspects of training. However, it is one of the first to slip in the event that the trainer is tired, distracted, ill, or otherwise “off”.
Don’t set back your training. Take the day off. It’s okay to just take a walk with your dog or give him a stuffed Kong and call it a “Rainy Day Schedule”. In the long run, your training will benefit much more from your day off, than from you trying to push through a bad day.