So I know how well this works for the dogs but I am starting to realize how effective it is for me as well. It seems like both Steel (maintaining his tracking skills and hoping to get into a Variable Surface Tracking test this fall) and Jill (prepping for her CDX in the obedience ring this fall) are determined to provide me with these self discovery moments. They have left me feeling both impressed with my brilliant powers of observation/problem solving skills and a little chagrined. Just when I think I know something my dogs show me that I can still learn stuff and find new ways to teach "old tricks". I swear in Jill's case (Ms Perfect) she is doing it on purpose too.
In college, at least in the science fields, there is a joke about the progression of obtaining knowledge. When you come in as an undergrad you are in awe at the knowledge of your professors and amazed at all the stuff you have to learn in the text books. You are just a big sponge (hopefully). You soak it all up and then think you KNOW STUFF. Then you move on to graduate school and discover that all that stuff you learned in the textbooks wasn't really as set in stone as you thought. In fact you find out that a lot of what you learned is outdated and just taught to you as a starting off point. You find out that all those professors often disagree with each other. You feel very disillusioned because now you don't know as much as you thought. You are also rather annoyed and disillusioned with your professors who don't seem as smart as they once seem. Then you move onto the final stage where you learn that knowledge is constantly evolving and not only do you still have a lot to learn but EVERYONE has a lot to learn. That is pretty much the place where I am in my dog training - I no longer worry about knowing it all because the learning is continuous. I just concentrate of letting my dogs, and all the others I train, show me what they as individuals understand about the task and find way to help them "discover" the way to do it properly.
Who is the student and who is the teacher??