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!