Concatenating To Complexity

For those training towards a specific goal, whether it be an endeavor of personal athleticism, titling in a competitive dog sport, publishing a novel, or any of a myriad of other ambitions, moving in a logical manner is paramount.

A vital key to success is to learn in steps, breaking down each aspect of the exercise into singular component parts. In dog training, this is known as chaining. Individual chains, in this sense, finds its origins in the Latin word catena, meaning “a connected series.” It’s the perfect way to clarify the elements of dog training. And clarity is very much needed in dog training, not only for the dog, but also for the trainer. One must be precisely clear in what one’s goals for the dog are, but also one’s own, as well as how to achieve them.

This is not as easy as it may seem at first. Even the most basic commands require more than one step, more than one link, each serving to connect one part to the next. Link comes from the late Middle English link, which descended from the Old Danish laenkia, “chain,” a word kindred to the Old Norse hlekkr, “link.”

Forming these various links into a successful goal requires one to concatenate, the action of uniting links into a chain. The origin of this word requires us to concatenate late Middle England back to Italy, then connect the Latin past participle concatenare, meaning “to link together.”

The ultimate objective is to achieve mastery. This is the final, highly-polished product of learning, then becoming proficient in all the intricate links. The path to success is a matter of concatenating to complexity.

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