Friday, April 6, 2012

Impatient Fisherman

Some cascading falls on Cattaraugus Creek
So, yesterday marked the second day of my fly fishing career. And I was yet again unsuccessful. That doesn't bother me as much as I thought it might, despite most peoples outlook about the activity is that if you didn't catch anything, it was a waste of time. I went to Cattaraugus Creek, and spent the morning sloshing around in the water, hoping I might actually catch something. As they say, wish in one hand $!*@ in the other, and see which one fills up first.

Now lets get this straight, I am not a good fisherman. I usually lack the mental fortitude to sit still for 3 hours staring at a little red piece of plastic floating on the water while the sun turns my skin purple and blistery. Which is why I like fly fishing, because I get to walk around and at least feel like I'm doing something not to mention stand in the shade. My brothers on the other hand are the equivalent of Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It. I have seen one of them pull a 4 ft sting ray out of the ocean at 6 years old, and another one catch a fish so big it had him about 7 inches away from being dragged out of the boat.

While I was out wandering the creek I started thinking about this patience issue I usually have with fishing, and how it related to other parts of my life. Mainly to dog training because that pretty much is "other parts" of my life. I see a lot of dog owners over the course of a week. Some new, some veterans, others are somewhere in between. One of the things I find myself repeating to all these folks is that patience and persistence is always better than power and pressure. This goes without saying with a dog I am working, but for many people they want their dog to start listening about 2 days ago. There are some exasperated dog owners dealing with a dog that jumps, doesn't sit, or is taking bathroom liberties all over their house that could definitely benefit from fishing with me.

When I started training dogs I can't honestly say if I was as patient as I am now. But I know from a lot of repetitions, that being patient usually yields far better results than trying to pressure a dog through something. When we force anyone to do something, we take away their power of choice. Which automatically makes them resist what we're trying to get them to do. No, this does not mean we need to let our dogs get away with murder while we wait it out. It does mean we should take a step back from what we think is obvious and try to see things from the dogs perspective. Getting another creature to behave in a certain manner takes cooperation.

Taking your time, using patience, and being persistent will have a great impact on your relationship with your dog. They don't speak human languages, they are far more interested in what you do, than in what you say. So show your dogs the path to success by being a trustworthy and patient person and you will make leaps and bounds of progress.

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