A few years later I moved to Utah and got a job at a daycare/boarding facility. The owner introduced me to Cesar Millan (he was in full popularity and hailed as a miracle worker at the time). I watched his show. He was very personable, friendly, and his results were impressive. I'd never been able to get dogs to do things the way he did. I still thought I'd be a bad trainer and further gave up on my dream of training animals. Maybe I could still work with animals, but I had no desire to train.
I don't remember who burst my bubble or when it happened, but I remember picking up books by Ian Dunbar and Patricia McConnell. Holy cow did those books change my life! They made training sound fun again and make sense! I had a brand new Demyx around this time and starting using positive reinforcement training on him. Just a little. I was still pretty sure I didn't like training but I needed to train my puppy if my husband was going to agree to let him stick around.
It was a ton of work, but it was soooo much easier than I thought it would be! Demyx was happier than most of the puppies I saw being trained. He seemed to enjoy it, and it actually seemed to make him want to be around me more. He didn't view training as a chore and neither did I.
My dog has struggled to focus on me and relax around other dogs his whole life. We've put a lot of practice into that area because I'd like to use him as a demo dog and relax while I'm working with client dogs. This week, we did a class with three unfamiliar dogs and Demyx wasn't perfect, but he was definitely more interested in me during 90% of that lesson. We both had fun together and we both moved forward.
There are other effective ways to train. I'm not knocking those. For the record, there are several things I LOVE about Cesar Millan's training and I think he's really a sweetheart and I've love to meet him one day. I have trainer friends who think that positive reinforcement is garbage. That's fine! I just didn't enjoy training (and didn't have much success with it) till I found a way to train that was fun for me and fun for my dog. When I end a training session and Demyx (or a client dog) comes over to me excited to do more, it's one of the best feelings in the world.
If this sounds a little like your story, and you'd like to learn how to have fun with training and have your dog love you for it, just let me know! I'm happy to help and I've love to talk with you about your dog!