Horse trainer Buck Brannaman, a leading proponent of Natural Horsemanship, has been quoted as saying “Your horse is a mirror to your soul.” Certainly this can be said about our dogs too ! Like furry sponges, dogs absorb our own beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. If we tend to lack confidence, if we consistently impose limitations on what we think we are capable of, if we are often overly emotional or nervous or fearful – in other words, if we are essentially unbalanced, our dogs will often embody those traits as well.
In order to help our dogs attain a calm, balanced state of mind, we must take a good look at ourselves and identify the things that are stumbling blocks for our own selves and, consequently, for our dogs as well!
Like furry sponges, dogs absorb our own beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.
Before a training session with your dog, take as much time as you need to clear your mind and focus on your training goals. Align yourself internally to the task at hand and strive to keep things simple and clear. Allow yourself to pay full attention to your dog so you can respond in a timely and appropriate fashion to his or her cues and responses to your guidance. The best training happens when we are fully present with our dogs, and that is a wonderful thing to strive for. After all, we want them to be fully attentive and engaged with us, and as such, we owe it to our dogs to be 100% there for them as well! When done in this manner, dog training is an all-encompassing, highly rewarding activity for you and your pup!
Do you want to micromanage your dog? The more you put into it, the more you derive. As a trainer I am always seeking to enhance my skills – I listen to my mentors and I listen to the dog.
What we are asking from our dogs is good medicine – for us !!!