I have never seen a dog that didn't fail at something in training or a trial at some point. I have never seen a trainer/handler who didn't do the same. No pain, no gain.
I have touched on this before, but you can only really train during the periods that the dog has a significant break between tests or trials. If you are entered in trials or tests week after week, you really can't do anything but prepare for the next trial.
Does anyone really want to break a dog's momentum by focusing on a weakness with only 4-5 days between trials? That would inevitably mean introducing significant mental, and possibly physical stress to the dog as it struggles to assimilate new skills or improve on poor ones.
Ideally, going into a trial you want the dog to be confident, bold and relaxed. At the top of it's game.
To address the OP's question, the ideal success rate is going to vary according to the individual dog. At some point, almost all of them need to be taken down a peg or two to maintain your control. But a steady stream of failures may weigh the dog down and stifle their ability to make good decisions and respond to the handler in the way that is most productive. It's important to realize that what a dog perceives as failure may differ from ours. In the long run, if the dog has a good attitude and is willing to work with you, you have it about right for that particular dog. We all need to really observe our dog's body language, physical appearance, and demeanor every day in order to assess how things are going. -Paul
Last edited by paul young; 05-23-2020 at 09:40 AM.
there's no good reason to fatten up a retriever.
Always have a plan B no matter the type of setup your running think of the what ifs and have a plan in place. And share your plan with your help in the field.
Great topic, and several precepts come to mind. A dog can’t learn if it never has to be corrected. Are you training or exercising? Keep in mind, you are 100% responsible for your dog’s attitude, so what kind of test is best to run next? When your dog is confident, happy and running hard, throw the book at ‘em, but be fair. Opposite is true if dog’s attitude is sour. Start every training session with a test the dog can do; also end every training session with a test the dog can do; train hard in between; result-dog looks forward to getting out of the crate to go to work, and goes to bed happy every night. A rerun after correction can serve as final test of the day since dog can do it. Think about what concept you are trying to instill in the dog, not the minutia of a particular setup. So, bottom line, the failure rate is an ever changing happenstance of where you and your dog are in your training program.