By this, he cited the psychologist John Kounios definition: “An ‘aha’ moment is any sudden comprehension that allows you to see something in a different light. It could be the solution to a problem; it could be getting a joke or suddenly recognizing a face. It could be realizing that a friend of yours is not really a friend.”
All of us who work with dogs, no matter what the venue, have “aha moments”—at least I know I often do. In many ways, it is what keeps me going. The “aha—I think I know what she wants” look upon your dog’s face when he/she grasps the lesson you are trying to teach.
Another “aha” moment is the comprehension on your part that there is a better way to train your dog in order to get your point across. Sometimes this comes about through trial and error on your part; sometimes you read something in a good training book or watch an outstanding video which suddenly makes it much clearer to you as to what you need to do; reviewing your notes from clinics or seminars you have taken can turn on the light; or working with someone who can view your methods dispassionately and can offer you suggestions or demonstrate a method that is more productive than the one you are using can be what is needed to turn your “aha” moment into an “aha” moment for your dog as well!
It is very important to keep an open mind when doing any type of training with your dog. Easier said than done, but often we have to put our egos to one side and seek out good advice when we are faced with a situation in which our dog doesn’t seem to understand what we are trying to teach. Is there a better way? Am I overlooking something I should be doing? Why aren’t my methods working?
One of my favorite comebacks to suggestions or “valuable” advice is that I will mull about it! But, in all truth, many times putting things to the back of my mind, letting them simmer a bit before bringing them to the fore (mulling) and reviewing them in other than the heat of the battle (such as just coming off the line after you have made a grievous handler error) allows me to reach an ‘aha’ moment—-
And then—there are those moments known as senior moments!! If I can only remember them, I will do an article on the subject.