Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Training Isn't Only About The Dog

As a canine behavior trainer I tend in incorporate other disciplines into my training of dogs. The ability to communicate with dogs is just as important to me as the ability to communicate with humans. The quality of my relationships and interactions with my family and friends, awareness about myself and the ways I relate to not only the humans in my life, but also those that wear fur, feathers, scales or fins, are all part of my training philosophy.

Over the years I've been a parent to dogs, cats, birds, fish, tarantulas, rabbits, crabs, snakes, lizards, gerbils and hamsters. My daughter even brought a huge toad home one day and asked if she could keep it. Every species of animal on this planet deserves our respect, and in return they can teach us about life and how we live it. When training your dog, it is important to understand that in most cases, the problems you may be experiencing with your dog are a reflection of things you have not yet confronted about yourself and possibly your family relationships.

Before you can change your dog's behavior, you have to change your own behavior. You need to learn new things and a new language - the language of energy, body postures and intention. Training a dog is about communication, awareness, education and relationship building. Training should be flexible, fun, fair, and forgiving, like a good relationship. In developing a relationship with a dog, we can better understand ourselves and our other relationships.

I would like to encourage you to look at dog training and yourself through a wider lens, one that includes developing skills that will assist you in every part of your life. I don't just want to help you train your dog, I want to help you change the way you think about yourself in respect to training and your relationship with your dog. Training is about common sense and team effort - the team of you and your dog.

I encourage you to be imaginative, think outside the box and find what works between you and your dog. Have fun, allow your dog to have fun. Giggle and laugh and recall the days when you were a child rolling around on the grass. Play, laugh, smile and learn something new every day. For your efforts, you will receive years of loyalty, love, and friendship.

Allow your dog to teach you how to live in the now. Dogs wake up everyday as though it was the first day of their life. It's always a brand new moment for them. Learn from this. The most important time for you and your dog is now. Learn from the past, plan for the future, but focus your positive energy in the now.

Education and training is a life-long experience. Enjoy the journey. Train smart, not hard. Use whatever resources you can find to integrate training into your everyday lifestyle. And most of all - relax !!