Patience Is The Key To Good Dog Training

Dharma Dog Services

Just think of our logo when you are teaching your dog


Dogs in a lie down position

group meditation ;)


Wait for it.

I’ll get to my point in a second.

“Okay!” “Break” “Yes!”

Sorry about that. Just wanted to test your patience 😉

I’m going to change the name of “dog training” to “teaching humans to teach their dogs” … It’s less misleading and far more accurate.

When I’m teaching people to teach their dogs I’ll often gauge temperament first. First of the dog, and then of the owner. I was doing a lesson with a local celebrity a couple of years ago and knew that they were very succesful in business. In fact, while their business was geared towards a yoga clothing line. Yoga, is meant to help relieve stress, exercise your body, and relax you with slow methodical breathing.

During our lesson I found that although they may have had a great grasp on tranquility in their day-to-day life and business, they seemed to have lost touch with just how much patience is necessary with your dog! They had a puppy and young twin boys at home so that’s asking a lot! However, it was also necessary to the process of teaching their dog.

I found myself giving this active-wear mogul breathing instructions. Telling them to “Stand still, and take deep breaths…just slow down and take your time” We all had a laugh at the end of the lesson at how “zen” you really had to be when communicating with your dog.

So there you have it, even proponents of yoga need a gentle reminder to slow down and let the dog work through the process.

We have a dog that I currently work with at our facility who is a sweet but sensitive dog. Over his tenure with me I have developed a really good bond with him.About a week or two ago I accidentally dropped an air-purifier to the ground with a loud crash and the sickening sound of cracking plastic on our matted rubber floor. This would spook anyone in the moment, however the little puppy I described happened to be in the immediate area. Startled he jump and quickly looked over his shoulder to see none other than me! Uh oh. Through an association of events, it wasn’t the air-purifier that he was scared of now, it was me 🙁

I’m currently in the process of rebuilding my trust with him. It will take time to train this dog to understand that I’m one of the good guys. I cannot rush this process, and if I do I can really scar my relationship with him. It is an exercise in complete patience and empathy.

So here I am taking a break from working with him, because all of the deep breathing and staying still had me dizzy. 🙂

When you think you are taking things slow enough with your dog, go slower!





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serenity now!

2 thoughts on “Patience Is The Key To Good Dog Training

  1. Speaking of that sensetive doggy mentioned above- He had his procedure yesterday- he ended up with a panic attack when we put on the cone. He didn’t like at first but after his first collision with the side of his crate- BOOM (guess who he saw this time when he looked back?). Totally frozen still, not taking treats, hyperventilating and frothing at the mouth. All within a few minutes. We took it off, of course. I sat near him the whole evening giving him treats occaionally but I was not his favourite person. Only back to normal this morning. We are now trying to figure out a diy collar/neck brace option. I have to say, he is not a big licker and he wasn’t really bothering the incision site but I know that the area can get very itchy in the next few days. For now, we are watching him all the time but surely we will run out of steam. Any tips? Maybe a blog post for other folks out there with the same scenario

    • This is a fairly common issue and can definitely be addressed with a slow conditioning process.
      First of all, we will pretend that we have a time machine, and ask the vet for his “cone of shame” prior to the surgery. This way you can practice before the big day and we can reduce stress.
      If you place the cone on the ground near his bowl whenver he is being fed, it can build a familiarity and through the process help him see the cone as a positive item. After he eats you can remove the cone from sight. Another suggestion is understanding what your dogs favourite activities are. Walks for example are often an exciting time. You can bring the cone out, and then the leash, and then leave. Eventually you would only put his leash on when the cone is on and so forth.
      In terms of a DIY “cone of shame” You can actually trim the cone back quite a bit to allow for more space for him to actually see!
      Let’s hope that you don’t need too many cones in his lifetime though 🙂

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