“Because we’ve always done it that way!”

The general response to the question of “Why do we do it that way?” is usually answered with either “I don’t know” or “Because we’ve always done it that way!”  The general response for “Why don’t we try another way that may be better?” is usually the same.  These responses along with the negative attitudes and unwillingness to implement change usually attributed to the responders are often the root causes for many of the reasons we get in trouble.

Are you satisfied with the status quo?  Do you know if there’s a better way of doing something related to your K9 training or deployments?  Are you satisfied with minimum standards?  Do you want new challenges?  Is “seeking improvement” something that might interest you?  Would you like to try something different that may be better and then openly evaluate it?  Have you heard or learned of a better way perhaps to do something that you hesitate to suggest for fear of the standard reply or negative repercussions?

Yes, the reason we get in trouble might be the primary fault of someone else not willing to change – or give change a chance – but what have you done to suggest that change or attempt it?  I know many handlers that would like to try to take their training to the next level but are stagnated with training methods and philosophies that are outdated and do not seek to improve or challenge to achieve higher standards.  Some handlers have been successful in their attempts to implement change – or try it – and some have not.

Instead of suggesting change and avoiding the “we’ve always done it this way” excuse, handlers are often content to go along with the program and not make waves.  And, when bad things happen – when trouble occurs – these same handlers (and some supervisors) wish they had been more active and persistent in their pursuit of change.

Believe me, I know firsthand how hard it is to recommend a change, make suggestions for improvement, and then be denied “because we’ve always done it that way” – but do not surrender without the proper battle.  You should know the best way to pick a worthwhile battle and initiate it.  If you want to improve personally or expand training opportunities and you have something in mind you’d like to try, be prepared and take the proper steps to propose your suggestion – and be ready to champion your suggestions!

Take care, be safe and make every day a training day….

Bill Lewis II

This “Reason” was originally shared on March 10, 2014.