I recently read a great write up about someone having some trouble with their dog and one piece of advice they had been given was after the training session, have a drink (whatever works for you) and think about what you liked about the session and what you can improve on.
What a great bit of advice. I have actually been doing this for a while, BEFORE any training session that I do, and I also do it in the voice that I think my dog sounds like. I always say that people know what their dogs would sound like if they could speak. When i say this in group classes, the ladies are always super enthusiastic and say, “yes, i know exactly what my dog sounds like” while the men look around and down a little bit thinking, hmmm better not look silly here! After having a joke with them, they usually come up with some of the best voices! Most people, men and women included know what their dog’s voice is so when I go out to do a training session, I chat to my dog for maybe 10 or 15 seconds or so, maybe while I am putting the lead or equipment on, perhaps as i am getting them out of the car or even walking to the field where i am going to train. And in the voice of my dog, I tell them how awesome they are, how much fun this is going to be and how cool they are when they learn new things and how much I love them. You just may get better engagement, you might pump yourself up a little bit and train in a better state or head-space than what you were already in. It may make you smile and giggle. It may just give you the best training session you have had.
And at the end of it, while you are enjoying that refreshing, well earned drink, I thank them for being so amazing, tell them the lesson I have just learned from the session I just had and then I thank them for being a better teacher than I am….