Wednesday, March 2

Trainer's Block

If you've ever been a writer, you've probably experienced what they term writer's block.
(Used to happen to me only around deadlines. Go freaking figure, right? Oh, the pressure of being twelve...)

Right now, I've got something like that, but we term it "burn out." 

Trust me, I could write things to annoy audiences for days and weeks...and maybe even for the rest of their lives. No writer's block for me.

The problem is... I can't keep up with my usual dog blogs, dog books, dog.... 

I will hang myself if I have to go on.

(I feel like this is you guys. =P)

I'm sick of it. I can't read about dogs, I don't want to write about them (not that I ever do, mind you), and I need  to learn something new to get my mind off of the fact that I will throw myself on the floor and scream if anyone tries to make me read another dog anything.

How do you guys do this?! It's an all-day-every-day thing that I can't wrap my mind around. There is, at a point, a brick wall that you will come up against where no more new information can be gleaned, absorbed, shared, etc. (Yes, this is true, especially for dog training specifically; when adding in behavior, the story changes ... but only slightly.)

 We're stuck in a world where little to no information has changed/altered in quite a while

Well, there's always the excitement of the different religious factions of dog training, but I'm not one for politics, please. Give me cold, hard facts and I'll be happy as a clam.

So, dear dog training, I think we are breaking up. I am taking everything I learned from you - the beginning (and yes, I do mean beginning as in 1+2=3 for dummies) of learning theory, body language, and behavior analysis/modification and stop just "doing something with it" and actually learn more.

What gets me about a lot of dog behavior consultants/trainers is that they have certifications. And experience. .... And not a whole lot else. 

Those things are great, and so is being able to help a dog - save his life, really - and help a family... but we get hung up on "this works" because "this has always worked" if we stop being students and start being teachers. 

There's no room for growth if you "know everything."

(I can see a former me in this cartoon. I'd argue with someone until I passed out from lack of air. Now, I just say "What an interesting perspective" and secretly roll my eyes when their no longer looking. What? One step at a time, guys.)
Nuh uh.

Not gonna happen to me, here. 

I want to build on what I know. 

And that means that I have to leave dog training - which is wonderfully limited - and learn things that can help me build on it. 

It means that I'm going to learn stuff that will make me better at my job, because I love my job... but these things will have little to do with dogs themselves.

Wish me luck. =]


  1. Good luck! I hope you share and continue to write witty blog posts about whatever topic you pursue.

    Lifelong learners are we!

  2. What an interesting perspective.

    Just kidding :)

    It IS interesting, and I wish you luck. Can you leave a clue what the new thing will be? No more dogs or dog training, no more reading. Yet, build on it? I am confused, but so curious ... and please continue blogging, any subject will do :)

  3. Oh don't say that! (stopping with blogging).

    Yours is the ONLY blog for which I read every single new post.

    You're to-the-point, you bring things in a new light, you question, AND you put my pet peeves into words.

    Having said that, I am sharing your frustration with the dog books. I am doing a qualification now requiring that I read 5 specific dog books. 4, no, 5 of them I consider totally useless.

    It's the same old (sometimes incorrect) stuff that I've read in the first 999 books on the subject.

    New challenging dog-related direction: how about literature surveys of the entire scientific work done on specific subjects in dog behaviour? That is the only bit that stays challenging for me, sadly. Like you say, once you know about socialisation, the Skinner quadrant, etc. you're kind of done reading about it.

    Ah well. No point in going against the flow. Hope your new direction will be enriching, and that you still come back to the Koda's Diaries once in a while.

    Good luck!