Perri and I started our gold spot in Hannah Branigan's Obedience Skillbuilding 2 class on FDSA. We are working on many things but one of my main priorities is a happy retriever. We have been tasked with generalizing our retrieve to different objects. An excellent suggestion, and one that didn't come with a little guilt on my part because we did work on this very thing a year or so ago. I just never kept up with it past a handful of sessions. Nowhere near enough to make an impact.
I'm in a different state of mind with the retrieve now, though. A year ago I was overwhelmed and resigned to the fact it was not going to happen. To the fact that Obedience in general was (probably) not going to happen. Now I have Perri doing a good hold, she has solid understanding of what I want. We need to make it more fun and boost her confidence with the exercise.
I still struggle with those overwhelmed and self defeating feelings. Obedience is so big. I am finding it grounding and important to focus on specific criteria in my training sessions and not let the big picture get me down. These growing pains and lessons learned are an important shift away from clueless green trainer. Actually remembering to go into a training session with my criteria in mind is a whole new mental project for me. I am not a "planner" in life in general, but it is very important that I learn to become one when it comes to training my dogs! They deserve that.