Give yourself a break! No one was born with the ability to drive a car.

Training and handling dogs is a lot like learning to drive a car. It takes time to develop the ability to press the clutch, steer, check the mirror, change gear, operate the wipers and have a chat with your passenger at the same time.

However, over time, with instruction and practice, you learn.

It’s always good to watch other people you admire as good dog handlers and observe their body posture, their position, where and how they reward their dogs, what they do to motivate them, how they hold the leash, what they allow and what they don’t allow. This sort of information will help you develop your own skills as a handler and trainer.

When you watch your trainer handle your dog and it all looks effortless or when you watch videos online of a trainer taking a dog who is misbehaving and out of control and a few weeks later they are a model canine citizen, please don’t give yourself a hard time because you haven’t been able to do this immediately with your own dog.

Remember the trainer has years of handling skills and experience to draw upon, just the same way that after you passed your driving test you weren’t able to drive like Lewis Hamilton!

Keep learning, keep developing, keep practicing and stay positive!