Over training is something that I will probably never be accused of. It’s today’s topic for Search And Rescue Saturday.
Let’s face it, if we were to work all the time and have no down time we would get burned out. Would you be more productive if you were to work all time with no breaks? Probably not. Well, this works in the dog world also. If you train too much, too often it could be very harmful to your dog. This could affect both your dog’s mental and physical well being.
Some of the top handlers I know in the Schutzhund world are known for almost disappearing for months at a time. They will not train their dogs during this period and just let their dogs be dogs. Now, this does not mean that they let the dog just be unruly and do whatever they want. The dog still needs to be obedient and respectful. Heel when walking, for example, but the training time looks more like play time.
So what would this look like in the K-9 Search and Rescue world? After all, unlike the dog sports world which has a season, people get lost year round. For me it’s finding a good balance of physical and mental work with a few days off. One idea of doing this would be to have two or three good, hard training sessions followed by a day of easy fun training drills, a good old fashioned walk/run, or maybe even a day or two off.
Over training is not healthy for people, and not healthy for dogs. For those of us who go to the gym or see a trainer they tell us that the body must have time to repair itself after a very hard workout. Why would this not be the same for our K-9 partners?