I’m a HUGE brene brown fan, if you don’t know who she is look up her TED talks they are amazing.
I also love reading and couldn’t wait to get my hands on her newest book dare to lead.
I always look at how I can tie new lessons into what I teach my clients, dog training goes so much further than just teaching the dog.
Honestly more than anything it’s about teaching you guys.
I was at an event last week for another fantastic author that I equally adore, when one of my friends mentioned to a lovely woman I had just met I was a dog trainer.
“you’re a dog trainer! Can you train my dog for me? I will pay you!”
I knew straight away the image she had brewed in her mind about what my job meant, that I train dogs FOR people – a common misconception.
I told her with a laugh
“no, you have to do that part yourself”
She laughed back and replied
“well you’re not a dog trainer then your more like a people trainer”
Pretty much sums it up perfectly what I do.
Because it’s a team effort, because to teach what I do which really at the bottom of it is a deeper understanding of communication and connection, we walk our talk around here and ensure that we set up an environment that cultivates that for our clients– everything is connected one action impacts another.
So back to Brene Browns book, I often speak about how social species needs connection to thrive, in her book she speaks of how believing it’s necessary and constantly doing things alone, and independently can be detrimental to ones emotional and mental health she had this quote from a neuroscience John Caciappo who has made his carer in researching the impacts those actions have and it fits perfectly into what I have been banging on about since day dot.
“To grow to adulthood as a social species, including human, is not to become autonomous and solitary, it’s to become the one on whom others can depend. Whether we know it or not, our brain and biology have been shaped to favour this outcome”
I can break this quote down in several ways to fit what we do, for one all social species are built to pass down guidance to the younger ones, your dog has the ability in his mind to lead or follow for survival when he reaches adulthood.
His developmental path along the way will shape that, often when we break things down a lot of twist and turns in a dogs puppyhood has had this very firm structure of teaching independence, what that teaching does it disconnect the puppy from his social network which usually is his human family, sometimes including a second dog, who has been modelled off the same system.
This makes up for the foundation of what he chooses to do, being independent can be detrimental to ones mental and emotional health, some dogs (and people) are built genetically more sensitive to this than others and this can kick in a survival mode attitude, triggering a dog to learn to be on guard, lack trust that anyone else can keep themselves safe, anxious tendencies, struggles with regulating emotions, lacks the ability to listen, lacks skills in problem solving and learning.
The good news is the brain is an ever growing changing organ in our body, neurons like muscles can strengthen and weaken and new pathways can be built.
Can you tell I find neuroscience fascinating and it ties in well with what we already know and are yet to understand about dogs and how they operate.
So what are all of my clients working on right now?
Developing and strengthening pathways in their dogs brain that help the dog trust, connect and communicate better with his social network, knowing that he doesn’t have to be the only independent thinker in the group, that it’s a team effort which helps dogs receive feedback better and “read the room” to make better choices in the long run.
What we do goes so much deeper than “sit Fido sit, good dog”
It’s why I tell you guys working on obedience alone isn’t enough if you are searching for sustainable long term results.
If you want your dog to listen to you, nay! WANT to listen to you, have that community I want to work as a team vibe flowing, have your dog learn how to make is own good decisions, learn to regulate his emotions, know when it’s appropriate and not to do certain things, have an on/off switch and have fun teaching all those things and have the work start happening when you don’t even realise it is.
because what’s the point if none of this becomes organic? You didn’t by a dog to work at things all the time you got a dog to hang out with, have fun with, to be able to go and do things together and enjoy that time stress free.
The recipe that’s needed to have a kick ass relationship with your dog, it’s just knowing how to teach and maintain those elements then kick back and watch them grow x