What is a good partnership?
A good partnership is one when each member brings strengths to the team. Each individual (either human or animal) knows their role and fills it well. There is clarity and pleasure in working together. A sense of accomplishment or comfort embues* the relationship.
An unstoppable partnership goes even further though! And this is true of our relationships with human teammates, sporting dogs, horses, and even just our pets.
At it’s best, an ideal partnership is:
Supportive – there is a hopeful, and sincere, belief that the teamwork can, and will, make the dream work. Supportive partnerships are highly motivating and optimistic.
Protective – partnerships thrive when members feel protected by each other. The environment is set up so that neither will fail. It’s evident that any threat to the security of their partnership undermines progress. Neither partner wants to see that. Togetherness matters for each member. Issues are recognized and then acted on so change and progress can happen.
Rewarding – each partner gets to shine and can feel the benefit of working, or playing, together. Each finds the partnership in some way beneficial and enjoys being engaged in it.
Honest – the most amazing partnerships recognize that there are good and bad days (or maybe weeks) and a challenge in a partnership doesn’t have to implode when stressed. The strengths and weaknesses of a team can be assessed and addressed. An open and thoughtful reflection keeps the partnership strong and vital.
Catalytic – great partnerships make things happen! A new sport is explored, a better coach is found. A team works together to support and enhance each other.
and it builds morale – at the end of the day you, and your partner feel better for your relationship. Your goals are team goals and your time together is satisfying and pleasureable even when challenging. Competitive partnerships can be about improving the partnership itself or it can be about trials and ribbons.
Partnerships require work and effort though and sometimes a little outside support can go a long way to building, or rebuilding one.
About every twenty four months I run a course through Fenzi Dog Sport Academy called (fittingly I think!) Love the One You Are With.
This class explores relationship and many of the students who join me at the gold level (one to one support) are challenged by a canine (or sometimes equine) partner.
P.S. If you’re more of a self led learner, check out the Love The One You Are With Workbook.
They aren’t sure what direction to go perhaps, or how to best work together with a partner who has some challenges. Sometimes it’s a tough course because together we break down the blocks and barricades that are stopping a partnership from being MAGICAL and EFFECTIVE.
Students in all kinds of sports (agility, nosework, barn hunt, canine freestyle, protection, rally, obedience and more have particpated and benefitted from this specific class) and pet people have discovered ways to make their partnership more positive and fufilling for both members too!
The curriculm is broad in scope and typically gold students take us interesting places I never predict. That’s not only a good thing it’s a GREAT thing!
If you think a 6 week course is too much work for right now (and isn’t now a strange time? I feel that) consider signing up at bronze.
If you want to work on your team in a fun and informative way consider signing up for one of Hannah Branigan’s cool workshops. This one is about fitness with Bobbi Lyons and to quote the page “It’s much more than a webinar, and it’s guaranteed to be a lot of fun and VERY nerdy.
As with our other workshops, you will receive a little homework to read in advance with example videos.” I have yet to not be impressed with a workshop through Hannah – and I am sure this one will be no different!
To sign up for Hannah’s workshop visit This Link
To see what’s on the schedule for the August Term check This Link
To sign up for Love the One You Are With, click HERE! I I hope you can join us! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
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Dog Training Task Cards
*fancy word use! Oh my!