Instructor: Andrea Harrison
This course takes the work begun in All In Your Head and adds more layers. A variety of goal setting techniques are covered as well as tips to help with making the most of your learning preferences, no matter who you work with. Techniques for memorizing courses and remembering things while on the course are also covered.
A little trailer to enjoy
All in Your Head is not a prerequisite but is recommended .
There are no scheduled sessions for this class at this time. We update our schedule frequently, so please subscribe to our mailing list for notifications.
Registration will begin at 9:00 AM Pacific Time.
For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Enrollment limits: Gold: 10 students, Silver: 5 students, Bronze: unlimited.
Silver level for this class is offered as "Working Silver". In addition to asking GENERAL clarification questions about the class lecture materials, silver students will now have the opportunity to submit two short videos, one minute each, for critique and review. You may submit two questions. Each question MUST have a one minute video attached so the instructor can actually answer a question that they can see. The question must relate to a topic in the class and the video must be a demo of the question. Please see the discussion forum for a detailed explanation - feel free to sign up at bronze, read the explanation, and then come back here to upgrade to silver if that interests you, and if space is available.
If you are interested in a bronze level subscription, you can sign up at any time during the registration period.
For answers to commonly asked questions see our FAQ page.
Planning and Goal Setting
Why do it, and what’s the difference between the two?
Making planning and goal setting work for you.
Strategies: Finding Motivation
It’s All in Your Head – Reprising the role of brain research and memory
Developing Your Master Plan
First Stages of Goal Setting
Strategies: Goal Setting Templates
On Being Realistic
How does your handling work for you? Self-evaluation and “the experts”
Record keeping: stage one
Strategies: Learning Styles and how you can use yours to benefit yourself
Dealing with disappointment
Managing when the learning opportunity doesn’t mesh with your style
Record keeping: stage two
Strategies: Finding Calmness in adversity
Getting your handling issues under control
Showing success (even if it’s failure)
Change (what is it really good for?)
Strategies: Dealing with Stress and Nerves
Checking your goal development
Final tweaking of your master plan
Strategies: The Dunning-Kruger Effect and Flea Circuses
Video is is not required for this course, though it may be helpful.
Its All In Your Head is recommended. You can purchase the lectures from the Prerequisites Purchase page.
FAILURE FENZI STYLE
Timing, footwork, stress management and coordination are all important skills to have for anyone training and/or competing with dogs. What may be even more important, however, is the ability to find success in what might feel like failure.
Failure, however defined, is not an end point. Without being willing – and a plan – to endure failure and disappointment, the chance you will reach your goals is greatly diminished.
Apparently it was Thomas Edison who first claimed some variation on the idea that he had not failed but had instead discovered 1,000 ways that do not work. Many have made the same point since. It’s something to think about as you traverse the path toward success. Would you rather fail three times and then succeed, or would it be better not to succeed at all because you failed on the first few attempts?
While it may sound counter intuitive, the primary benefit of failing is the lessons it provides about how to come back with a stronger, smarter approach. When things go wrong, LISTEN to what the failure is telling you. Listen most closely to what your dog is telling you. It’s far more than “well, I guess he doesn't know that exercise.” Your dog will tell you what she needs.
Listen to the nuances of the failure. Determine how attempts that are successful differ from those that are not. More often than not, it is possible to identify differences in the environment, differences in your handling or emotional state, or even differences in your dog’s general state of well-being. (Dogs can get “hangry” too!) Even if you can’t pinpoint something, you have still been given lots of useful information about where you are in the training process. Use it wisely.
Consider your situation from the outside. What if someone you knew were experiencing the same issues you are? How would you identify what was going wrong? What would you tell them? Look at the five W's from the perspective of getting help deciphering the root of the failure. What happened? Where did it happen? (Is the where important to this instant?) Who was responsible for the challenge? When did it happen? (Had you unpacked your stress and handling toolboxes or had they been left I the car? Perhaps it was late in the event and your team was more tired than you had realized?) How did it happen? Was it anticipated? Predicted? Just one of those things? And, the biggy in this case why did it happen and what and how can you change things to overcome the failure?
Be objective about the information you've been provided. It’s very tempting for our defense mechanisms to kick in, and for us to react in a way that saves face rather than addresses the real issue. Blame the dog, blame the environment, blame the ringside child and his loose grip on that ice cream cone. Human nature, indeed. Not helpful though nor is it constructive. (I can still tell you about the person in the bleachers opening a chip bag RIGHT beside the dog walk RIGHT as Brody started up it. He looked at her glowered at me and kept on trucking!)
Far more productive, though, is to take blame out of the equation altogether. Sure, it can be useful to determine why something happened the way it did, but that’s just another piece of information you can use to shape your path forward.
Be cautious, though. The more elusive and complex the problem, the more effective trial and error can be as a means of solving it, but remember that you’re working with another wise and sensitive being who depends on you for direction. Too much trial and error – jumping around from one guru’s method to another – can be extremely confusing for both of you and may do more to damage your long-term relationship than to put things back on the right track.
So think things through. Don’t be reactive when things go wrong. Don’t change your handling system mid-trial because you couldn’t get that front cross in. Stop. Think. Reflect. Think. Plan, Do. Note. Then note check. Consider pulling out of the rest of the day’s classes if you’re so discombobulated that you can’t offer your team the kind of calm confidence and familiar handling you both deserve.
It’s been shown that poker players who have just lost money are primed to make riskier bets to try to win it back and “erase” their earlier mistake, an approach that rarely works. Avoid overcompensating!
So don’t overreact, but don’t deny mistakes, either. Learn from them. However, deciding that failure is not only OK but actually beneficial doesn't give you a license to fly blindly and hope for the best. You need to hold fast in your determination to be your dog’s protector, physically, mentally and emotionally.
Together, the two of you are travelers – and it’s OK to take the long way. Be willing to step back from anything that isn't working. You can change your path without changing your goal.
It’s important to balance perseverance and commitment to your goal against the pitfalls of holding on to a flawed plan. Which is better for your dog? Your relationship? Your own sense of accomplishment and enjoyment? Letting go can take great courage. Revisiting goals regularly to be able to adapt them and refine them is one of the biggest reasons I encourage record keeping no matter how brief and unique your system it. Record keeping lets you keep a perspective on the goals (short, medium and long term) and adapt before you feel you are in outright crisis.
Trust your gut. Only you know what is most important to you. Do you care about meeting your goal because it’s your goal, or is it your goal because you care about meeting it?
Give yourself permission to change. When it comes right down to it, only you can decide whether a goal’s importance to you can be maintained throughout the process of trying to reach it. This may be heresy to many in the motivational speaker crowd, but – frankly – there are times when “Never Give Up” is the worst advice anyone could give. Or receive. Again, no self help “this is the only way” from me.
“Never stop re-evaluating,” though, that is advice you can count on. Plan to fail. Plan to re-adjust as needed. Allow yourself the freedom to set and re-set the best path for yourself and your dog. Practice failing in a safe space, and plan your response. Experiment thoughtfully under circumstances in which failure is survivable. Keep track of where you are and where you've been. Think about whether your original destination is still reasonable in light of where you are and what you've achieved.
It’s fair to assume that reaching a carefully modified goal would be more rewarding than ongoing failure to meet one that wasn't appropriately set in the first place.
Be forgiving. Recognize that there are lots of right ways to do things. Your goals and your path are yours alone. Your dog didn't choose them, but is along for the ride. Travel safely and plan your route, but never be afraid to change course if it’s what’s best for the two of you.
Revisit any of the goals you have set through the courses. Tweak it to fit your experiences with it to date. If you need to make a complete change that’s fine too. Do it. Share your tweaks and your reasons for your adaptations.
A SAMPLING OF WHAT PRIOR STUDENTS HAVE SAID ABOUT THIS COURSE ...
I really like Andrea's courses and would happily take more of them. I believe that so many of my issues with dog sports have to do with my issues and these two classes have allowed me to move forward where I was not doing so before. The dog's skills are great but until I can move past the entail issues we could not be successful in competition.
Love both of Andrea's courses. The insight I have gained has allowed me to move forward and compete in agility and obedience more confidently and thoughtfully. The toolbox is full of wonderful ideas for more success in dog training and competing and life in general. I would take more of these types of classes taught by Andrea in a heartbeat! Sharon F.
This class was eye-opening, insightful and really helped me frame the issues I have with motivation, goal planning and my mental game when it comes to dog training and life in general. The lectures and techniques discussed were extremely helpful and have made a significant impact in all parts of my life, not just dog training. Six short weeks was not long enough to spend in this class. Andrea is a wonderful instructor providing support when needed and challenging you at the same time to expand and explore every part of you and your psyche. I honestly can't say enough about this class, it is a true gem. Tracey B.
Andrea is funny, patient and non-judgmental, a real model for how I'd like to be with my own students. I really appreciated her approach to helping me towards a goal I have been struggling with for nearly 6 months. Ayoka B.
Thank you Andrea for everything, this class was scary for me thinking of opening up and acknowledging personal struggles and you made it feel safe and have improved so many aspects of my life with small, but very meaningful things. So thank you!
Andrea - you are awesome. You are so very giving to all your students. Classes with you are a haven! Thank you, thank you thank you.
I think Andrea is one of the most caring instructors you have. Not to say the other instructors aren't caring of course. Andrea is very intuitive and always seems to,say just what you need to hear, in a way that lets you absorb it.