Listening is a skill that needs to be practiced regularly and is a piece of the puzzle of a good friendship with your dog.


Going from pet owner.

To dog training.

To parent.

There are two consistent patterns I notice when I’ve had trouble with my pets behaviours and when I struggled with the kids.

The first one is no matter how much I practice something I am human and sometimes I get caught up in my own emotions and stories, I get frustrated, I lose patience and certain elements that help us feel connected go out the window.
The first is listening.

Listening is a hard skill and one that needs to be practiced often, and the more you practice listening the more you can see the difference between those who practice it, and those who “listen” readying for their reply, or next action.

When you are doing that, which *raises hand* I have and am guilty for at times, remember we are all human not perfect robots.

You become detached from the moment and from that person and your pets too.

But listening isn’t enough to fix a problem that’s just one piece of the puzzle, truly listening means acknowledging where you’re at and that you may not have all the answers and you may have to further your support system to strengthen the structure of your relationship.

People laugh because they catch me out using the same key words I use with my dogs as I do my kids.

Hey I’m all for keeping things simple, I like to do the hard work but also short cuts are amazing when put in the right place,
but also I have learned so much in the way of communicating with dogs, when you can’t sit down and speak, when something can’t talk back to you, you learn a lot about yourself and them in that silence.

Dogs taught me about silent communication but it was my kids and Shane and my clients who have taught me how to really listen, that when something is going wrong, when someone is upset or stressed, anxious or angry, there is usually much deeper things going on, and most of the time it’s a story they are telling themselves without even knowing it, and I need to step outside myself.

Create space and listen so I can hear what they are really trying to say/ask for.

Our instincts are programmed to seek out connection, and when we don’t have it, our emotions and senses become more heightened and the more disconnected we feel the more heightened we become, because instincts are kicking in our subconscious mind is starting to believe we are losing our safety, our network, family, support, pack.

Social animals are driven to find safety in numbers but more importantly it’s the quality of those numbers, as hunting, communication and safety is more of a guarantee the more connected we are and the easier we can communicate with one another.

THIS is why there is no guarantees in dog training, why I ask people how are the next 15 years going to look for you guys based on the foundation you have now?

Whats going to happen when life throws something at you and you become absorbed in yourself for a little while, because it does and will happen, whether that be a birth, death or things in between.

We are human and we get wrapped up in ourselves and our own stories sometimes, and I can see it now when my dogs do something that makes me feel annoyed or uncomfortable, when we the last time I was present with them?

When my kids act out, get angry, or bossy, when was the last time we switched off all the devices and created some space for one another and worked and played together?

Once we teach our clients the foundation, they then have the answers when things shift and change they have something to come back to and anchor themselves to when they have drifted a little from their dog, they know how to plug back in, how to reconnect and that’s what helps balance out a dog.

Not a walk every day.

Not stacks of toys.

Not preventing boredom.

Not crates.

ALL of these things HELP and ASSIST in building in the things you need to have a healthy friendship with your dog but none of those things are THE answer.

So when was the last time you sat with your dog?

Can you, perhaps your at a stage where to sit with him, the thought of it makes you feel annoyed.

I know he will just jump all over me, act stupid, not listen, do something that will make me grunt under my breath.

Then maybe, just maybe that’s the first step into listening to what you both need, and realising that you may not be able to do this on your own x

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