Feeling overwhelmed on your dog training journey? This trainer's simple advice is just what you need

Basset hound jumping on man in park
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Being a dog owner isn't always easy. Yes, there are certainly some wonderful benefits that come with having a fur friend by your side, but there are also plenty of challenges — especially when it comes to training.

Even with a bag full of the best dog treats, there will be days when your pup not only makes zero progress towards the goals and plans you have for them, but seems to go backward! 

It's important to remember that owning a dog can be a lot some days, and it's not always going to go the way you hope it will. But thankfully, that's completely normal. To help you keep things in perspective, expert trainer Mattison Skoog has shared a super helpful post to Instagram — and reading it has made us feel a whole lot better!

Skoog says that balancing meeting your dog's needs with learning new skills, behavior modification and managing arousal can feel like a lot. 

"I think it’s important to do all of those things. And to have goals. And plans. BUT. I also think it cannot and should not be ALL goals and ALL plans," she explains, adding that sometimes it's okay to set everything down and simply be with your dog.

In fact, when it comes to the best ways for improving your relationship with your dog, just being together is one our favorites. 

There are so many things you only know if you're a dog owner, and the frustrations that can come with training is definitely at the top of the list! But as Skoog points out,  you and your dog both deserve time to reset because life can't always be about progressing towards goals. 

"You and your dog deserve breaks. You’ll only really get stronger if you give yourself time to rest along the way. For me and Remi, our reset looks like either going for a hike on a quiet trail or being incredibly goofy together in our backyard. Those are the moments I let go of all our goals and just exist with my dog. It refills our cup so we can tackle the next day refreshed," she explains. 

So next time you're feeling overwhelmed, know that it's okay to put down your training goals and plans for a moment and simply be with your dog. Trust us, your mental health will thank you for it. 

Milo's Kitchen Chicken & Apple Sausage Slices 
$9.99 at Chewy

Milo's Kitchen Chicken & Apple Sausage Slices 
$9.99 at Chewy
Made with real chicken and apples, these deliciously wholesome meaty morsels are made without artificial flavors or colors and are great as a snack or training treat. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.