Really? Do you question my post title? Well let me tell you, as both an artist and an owner of a young dog, they really are quite similar. How you ask? Let me tell you...
1) Patience ; yes it takes patience to train a dog, lots and lots of patience. And it takes patience to have a career in art. With a dog the patience required is due to the repetition, the amount of time it takes your dog to 'get it' when you try and teach him/her a trick or preferred behavior. As an artist it takes a mountain of patience to keep working, keep submitting, and finally to get accepted.
2) Repetition ; oh yes Virginia it takes repetition. For the dog it is simple, teaching them the task/trick/behavior over and over until they get it. This dovetails nicely into the previous 'patience'. As for artists, repetition in creating a style, in sticking with a genre, a system for follow through with contacts. Repetition in not giving up at the first rejection letter (yes I said rejection).
3) Reward ; this is obvious for dogs, if they do what you want they get a reward. Now as artists we don't have any control over getting a reward. I suppose you could say the reward is a contract signed. But that sort of doesn't reward us for achieving a goal that is behind the scenes but equally important to making art. So, my suggestion is, reward YOURSELF when you accomplish something. It can be a cup of coffee, a new piece of jewelry, an afternoon off. But you have to reward yourself.
Now, can you argue with that? Of course not, because you know I am right. With that said, I am going to take my 6 month old golden retriever puppy for a long walk. Get him all tired out so I can draw without guilt!