We all have a lot of different things going on in our lives.
It’s hard to know how you will even begin fitting all of the things in let alone the training it’s going to take to get things right with your dog.
And even then? What if you or your dog just isn’t fixable?
What if it’s you, that your just not as skilled with dogs as you thought and you *dramatic music for effect dun dun dun* fail.
Dog training isn’t about ultimate success, isn’t about perfect.
There isn’t a finish line where everything is done and your dog is going to be perfect and there are butterfly’s farting rainbows.
Sorry to let you know but life doesn’t work that way we are dealing with a living animal within our own lives that are ever changing.
Things are at times even with training going to slip through your fingers.
Mistakes are going to be permanently apart of the process, it’s a part of life.
And it happens even to me
Let me share with you a story from a couple of days ago.
I’m a mother of two under 5, building a biz, taking care of clients, learning from my own mentors on ways to improve and bring bigger and better things to my clients, owner of two boisterous rough as guts at times highly driven not all there in the head dogs, I have had health issues in the past 12 months or so that had me in hospital a couple of times, my work involves traveling, so I leave things up to my amazing partner while I am gone to juggle kids and dogs on his own – what does this have to do with the above?
Two days ago my dogs had a tumble over some food, it’s totally my bad, I knew one of my dogs is a bossy asshole thief who thinks he is entitled to everything, I love him but this is part of who he is, I’m just being honest haha
How I had tackled this in the past was through MANAGEMENT, I would feed the other dog first as he is slower than I would feed my bossy asshole whom I love equally to bits second.
This is why management long term isn’t sustainable, eventually you get caught with your pants down.
Because I hadn’t addressed the core issue and short cut the problem – yup I do lazy, I’ll get to it if I have to stuff too, shoot me I’m just being human – the problem smacked me in the face.
It may have taken 6 years but it finally surfaced.
Because it was different food the thieving dog got through his faster than normal they had a tumble and my other dog ended up with a gash right under his eye ball.
It was literally a 30 second rumble I walked back out and said pretty calmly “oi what are you doing?” – cause you know I also have a habit of asking my dogs things they can hardly understand let alone answer, again I’m human shhh
They instantly stopped.
And then we were off to the vet and my dog now has stitches and the cone of shame.
And look he is bloody lucky it wasn’t his eye, I’m lucky that I have a foundation in place that the stopped as soon as they heard me speak, I’m also lucky I have the tools and knowledge to fix the issue, now all it’s going to take on my part is the work.
Am I going to do that work?
The risk of not doing the work is now blindingly obvious, if I don’t change things, there could be another slip.
For every day I DON’T do the work that’s a day where there is worry in the back of my mind of what could happen, because we are dealing with dogs, not robots, they will oblige with management mode but if there is ever a crack in it they are opportunists they will see it and take it.
Exactly what just happened in this situation, Bundy had the opportunity to be a self entitled greedy bum and he took that opportunity.
The work it takes to fix the problem is less effort than having that daily stress in the back of my mind every time I feed them.
So yeah I totally am going to do it.
Shit happens to dog trainers too, don’t think our lives with our dogs run smoothly we have a lot of things going on too, and we have to constantly review and re adjust what we are doing with the changes in our lives, the changes in our dogs, but we have the tools and know how to do so, quickly and efficiently.
And the ability to kick our selves in the butt and call ourselves out when we have been lazy, and I am totally guilty in this situation for exactly that.
No ones lives are running smoothly or perfectly.
I joke about the incident but truth is I feel horrible, guilty, and it shouldn’t have happened but I also take a breath and remind myself I am only human learning how to manage a family, a business, my health and well being and my dogs, I’m not going to get it right all the time and that’s ok I have the tools to fix this it’s all going to be alright. Jax is fine and this is fixable, I am human and to fix this problem and get out of management mode I had to be smacked in the face for it.
But the real reason why I am sharing this story is this guys.
I had the foundations in place and the social structures going on that the fight wasn’t all that serious, it just happened to be more the right pressure and tooth in the right place to slice through, and with basically a normal speaking voice they stopped instantly.
But if I didn’t have that, things could have been so much worse, that’s the advantage I have is that yeah not everything is going to go perfectly in my life or the dogs but for the most part when shit does go south when can pull up recover and readjust almost instantly.
Because we have the tools and the skills to do so.
For you guys, situations like that, or even things like your dog escaping, not knowing boundaries such as door ways and gate ways and darting out, not listening, no re call, and so on.
Your dogs are at a higher risk of being injured, and being injured a lot more severely.
I’ve spoken to people too late, they have already lost their dogs, to cars, to bad behaviours, or been severely injured which is a trauma we then need to help heal on top of everything else.
Yes it’s human to wait until we get smacked in the face with the problem, but what if that’s already happening, those things you have in the back of your mind that little niggle of stress or irritation that you try to brush away as no big deal is what you need to tell you to change things.
Think for a moment, what would be that moment that you are dreading happening with your dog, what IF it did happen.
Is it worth waiting until the day that it happens?
For those of you who are in the kind of management mode where your dog just doesn’t get out of the house, or spend time with you like you would actually love to do, what if he passed, would you be happy with the life that he lived?
These are heavy questions but theyre the question that surface when ever something like this happens in my own life, and I wonder about you guys. I know how lucky I am how quickly I can pivot and change with the skills that I have and this is why I am dam passionate about what I do and why we educate our clients the way that we do.
Because it isn’t about just fixing your problems now but also teaching you sustainable long term techniques that when something does surface when you have been in management mode and you may not have realised it, you can adjust quickly and easily on your own.
The skills you learn from a dog training should last you the life of that dog and be something you can always have in your back pocket for when things change, shift or surface.
Because neither dogs or people are perfect but we can always work at improving things and preventing unnecessary risks.
So if a part of you is worried about FAILING it doesn’t exist.
It’s an ever evolving growing change thing that you have between you and your dog.
And yes, our programs are busy life friendly because I would just be a hypocrite if I didn’t design something to fit into the hectic fast paced schedules that we have these days.
But know within that it’s still important to slow down breath and give your dog a cuddle 😉