When The Tools Don’t Work
As a dog trainer who travels the country training dogs and working with 20-30 families a week in their homes it is so important for folks to understand how a dog thinks. And when there is no authority figure present, the kind of chaos and bad behavior that can happen. Remember the bad behavior of your dog is not the problem it is just the outcome of a breakdown of leadership in your home. My friend, co-host of the Train The Trainers Seminar Series, and LA dog training colleague Sean O’Shea from The Good Dog Training and Rehabilitation puts out such a great blog that I feature it here on my blog. Since the message is so powerful and important it needs to be shared by all. Enjoy the read and feel free to also join his Facebook Fan Page.
When The Tools Don’t Work
By Sean O'Shea
While I’m a big proponent of using and leveraging the very best tools available for you and your dog to be successful, the reality is that the greatest tools in the world mean nothing if your head, heart, and energy aren’t in the right place.
The greatest tool you have at your disposal is always yourself. Your mind and your intention. If your emotions and outlook regarding your dog (and yourself) are out of balance, you will both likely struggle, regardless of what tools you use.
If you have an out of balance dog and you’re: still babying and spoiling because it feels good/fulfills your need to nurture, feeling guilty for working long hours so you only share freedom and affection when you get home, shunning structure, training and discipline because it feels yucky or un-enjoyable, being too soft with a firm dog because that’s simply who you are, substituting dog relationships and connection for human relationships and connection, or using your dog to fill unattended to emotional voids and needs, you and your dog will likely still struggle.
The way you feel about yourself and the world, and the way you think about your dog and his training and lifestyle is what fuels the tools and your training strategy to either be powerful and transformative, or to be superficial, unconvincing, and powerless.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, your human animal is having a constant, 24/7 conversation with your canine animal about who you are and what role you wish to play in his life. You cannot tell your dog 23 hours of the day that he’s your little cuddle bug and that you’re his doting mommy or daddy and then on your walks where he misbehaves and acts likes a monster try to tell him you are the big pack leader. :) That ones not going to work. We have to give our dogs more credit than that.
Every moment is valuable. You build credit towards good behavior by creating believable leadership long before you’re going to need it when the chips are down. If you want to turn behavior issues around and get your dog into an awesome space state of mind wise, you have to cultivate a believable energy, and a believable presence your dog is able to buy into and follow as an ongoing lifestyle – not just in the moments you need it or that are convenient.
These awesome creatures have a special knack for highlighting and exposing our personal gaps, camouflaged shortcomings, and internal struggles. How awesome is that? You live with your very own personal therapist. :) That’s the awesome challenge and opportunity of dogs: you can’t fool them with tools or a momentary decision of commitment or fortitude, no, they’re looking and waiting for the real stuff. Your best stuff. If you want them to change they’re ready for it – just as soon as you are ready to change yourself.
So remember, the tools are important, no doubt, but it’s your presence, your intention, your emotional balance, your energy, your decision to treat and view your dog like a dog, your force of will and desire and determination, and the constant conversation that your human animal is having with your canine animal that fuels and empowers the tools and the training strategy to actually create the possibility for transformation and change.
Sean’s website www.thegooddog.net
Sean's Facebook Page
Sean's groundbreaking do-it-yourself training video/PDF training booklet Learn to Train The Good Dog Way: The Foundation is now available for pre-order at a discounted price – click HERE to watch the new TEASER video, and find out how to to order your copy on Sean's website!
The Good Dog Training and Rehabilitation 4867 Bellflower Ave. North Hollywood, CA 91601 (818) 441-1837
Solid K9 Training Training Center- 25 Acorn Street, Providence, RI 02903
(401) 274 1078
Solid K9 Training Brooklyn NY Location- 210 24th Street Brooklyn NY 11232