That skill?

Critical thinking.

Wether you are a dog trainer, dog owner or both, being able to troubleshoot issues that arise in your training with a dog is going to be paramount.

Yes, getting insight, feedback, guidance and direction from other people that know more than you or can provide a different perspective is important…but there’s going to be a lot of times where you’ll need to be the captain of your own ship and make decisions on your own.

Critical thinking is only as powerful as the knowledge that you have acquired and put into your toolbox.

Troubleshooting in real time and being able to think quickly on your feet in how you should implement the knowledge that you’ve learned and quickly asses what you do in training if it will: create holes, create behavioral fallout, put a temporary bandaid on a problem or ultimately solve the problem is something no book, audiobook, video or someone else can teach you.

So what can you do to start teaching yourself how to think critically?

1. Obtain as much knowledge as possible

2. Filter the knowledge that you obtain. “Take what you love and leave what you don’t”

3. Obtain a Toolbox and Tools

4. Assess the behavior and find the WHY (behavior serves a FUNCTION, it is not meaningless)

5. Find the solution using the toolbox and tools you have

The examples I provide are EXAMPLES. Depending on your system of training, your methods, the temperament of the dog, context of the situation and much more, your answer to issues with your dog may be different.

(Ps: this was taken from 1 lesson inside of the 90 Day Dream Dog program. Learn to become the dog trainer for your own dog by clicking the link in the bio)

Do you have an example where you were able to critically think through a situation with your dog and get to your end goal?