Goal Setting by Danny Rouse
Goal setting can have a powerful affect on you and your dog. It can increase motivation and keep you focussed. It can help you make the right choices during training and can add much-needed structure to your routine.
Your goals should be challenging and inspiring – but it’s also important that they are realistic. Setting unrealistic goals can make you push yourself and your dog too far, and leave you feeling ultimately disappointed when things don’t work out.
Consider what you and your dog’s strengths and weaknesses are and use them as a foundation for setting targets. I’d also recommend basing your goals on aspects of your sport or training that you both really enjoy. After all, training is most successful when it’s fun.
It’s vital to take time to think about – and even write down – specific, detailed goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them. A vague goal such as “I want to get placed higher in competitions” is not going to be effective. A better alternative would be something like: “I’d like to improve our speed with the aim of getting third place or better in 50% of the competitions we enter this year. This will require one extra training session every week.”
About the Author: Danny Rouse is one of 4 directors of Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear, a family business based in Exmouth that has gone from a small local firm to an internationally recognised brand in the dog sport market. His role focuses on customer satisfaction and driving the business forward. In his spare time he enjoys long walks with his dog Horatio and loves sampling good food out and about in Devon. Danny and Horatio also train regularly at East Bowerland Farm with Devon Dogs.