It’s 2021 and the world is addicted to quick fixes.
If we want to know the answer to a question, a quick google search can generally give us what we’re looking for within a few seconds. If we want to watch something, we have instant access to every single movie ever made. If we want to do some shopping, we can hop on our phones and have whatever we desire delivered overnight. This is all fine, but we need to make sure we’re not losing something valuable for the sake of convenience.
When it comes to dog behavior solutions the quick-fix addiction is as apparent as it is in any realm. People want help fixing unwanted behaviors and they want it now. What they don’t consider is that it’s taken some time for their dogs to learn the unwanted behaviors, so it will also take time for them to unlearn those behaviors and replace them with behaviors that we desire - but more importantly - a way of life that they are searching for. There is no quick fix when it comes to our dogs. This isn’t a bad thing, it’s just the truth - and, from the right perspective, it’s actually quite valuable.
You see, in this world of instant gratification we often lose sight of the very real, very beautiful things that are right in front of our noses. It’s hard for us to slow down and smell the roses, both figuratively and literally (when’s the last time you stopped to smell flowers?!). But the beauty of human life lies in our ability to connect deeply: to each other, to ourselves, to whatever the present moment brings. In the world of dog behavior specialists that means connecting deeply to our dogs in the present moment.
If our dogs were just a quick fix it’d be easy to keep a surface relationship with them, almost treating them as a background fixture of our lives instead of a beautiful living, breathing being who needs our guidance and leadership. The fact that we have to put time and effort into our relationship with our dog is the reason that relationship is so special. Think about your human relationships: time and presence make a huge difference. You’re surely closer to your kids or partner, than you are the clerk at the local grocery store.
This is all to say, that there’s intrinsic value in the time and effort we put into helping our dogs with their behavior. It’s a relationship that goes both ways. We help dogs navigate the human world, they reward us with unconditional love, and they teach us deep lessons about ourselves. Part of the beauty of dogs is that they teach us to slow down, to enjoy each step along the way. We simply couldn’t enjoy the depth of the relationship if there were only quick fixes.
There’s value in the journey, enjoy each step.