Today is Harley’s 1st Birthday! So in honor of him, check out this glimpse into his (and his moms) transformation.
I can’t tell you how often I hear, “I bought my German Shepherd as a companion. He’s a family pet and he’s pretty good most of the time, but there is a list of things I want you to fix for me because he can be really frustrating at times.”
Humans are rewarded for being emotional and intellectual. We’re paid and rewarded socially to ignore instincts and just “fit in”. We’re paid financially to ignore instincts and just “do as we’re told” or “do what it takes to get the next check”.
We Don’t Train Kids. We Raise Them.
Raising your dog is not much different than raising children. When raising your kids there is no “off switch”. You. Are. Always. Parenting.
I never set aside time to specifically “train” my son. I’m always training him in some way because he’s always paying attention to what we’re doing. And he’s always looking for the rules, boundaries, and limitations of our home/family.
As the great @linnboyke says, “The best time to practice a skill is when that skill is not needed.” Can you imagine trying to learn how to box in an actual fight rather than in the gym?
A lot of trainers will tell you that humanization of our dogs is the biggest problem we face today. I call BS. I think using human psychology on our dogs is the problem. If we humanized them all the way to a place where they truly were our CHILDREN (rather than an accessory, a personal brand statement, a toy, or an emotional dumping ground), I think we might be better off.
You don’t purchase or adopt a family pet. You have to EARN a family pet. Our clients are great at telling me what they want or don’t want from their dog. But they rarely talk about what the dog might want or not want from them or the home environment.
For some reason a large percentage of our clients come into their BDB experience believing that they are doing something amazing for their dog by giving them free reign of the house and yard - that somehow all of that “freedom” makes the dog more happy (and freedom is in quotes bc there is nothing “free” about the walls in your house and the fence in your yard).
Dogs need jobs. They need a purpose. Out in nature - in a more primal life - dogs have a clear place in the pack and a clear job.. every single day. All dogs need to work, however, if you purchased a true working breed dog - you better get ready to fulfill that work drive!
We have to be aware of what the root cause of our dog’s behaviors are before we can modify them.Once we are aware and all parties are in AGREEMENT regarding the path forward and the responsibilities we each have, THEN we can help the dog.
The best way to create a nervous, anxious, insecure dog that guards you and is miserable without you is to create an unhealthy NEED to be with you - dependence. Our dogs need to be calm and content whether we're in the room, out of the room, or totally away from them.
We can't expect perfection from our dog in every environment we put them in. What we can offer them, however, is fulfillment and guidance every day and to bring more balance into their lives while also providing leadership so they will be more reliable and balanced in new situations.
One of the most powerful tools we have when working with dogs comes from within. The more knowledge we gain, the more confident we become. Self-confidence layered with our energy (emotions x intentions) becomes one of the most important tools we can use while interacting with Mother Nature.
Many dog owners are nervous that their dog’s personality or spirit will be broken during/after training. The thought of that bums us out.
Your personal convenience can not be the bar by which you judge how “good” your dog is. Your dog is “good” when they are fulfilled, safe, content, balanced, peaceful, social, soft, obedient, and living in harmony with his/her family.
Decision-making Is Stressing Out Your Dog! The people at the top of any organization deal with the most stress. Why? Because they have the most responsibility and have to make the most decisions. And those difficult decisions impact a variety of things including people’s lives. That’s stressful. Now imagine being...
Every single one of our clients LOVES their dog. We know for a fact their heart is in the right place. We simply need to tweak HOW they physically manifest/show that love to their dog. In order to love anything (human, dog, horse, or alien) in a meaningful/fulfilling way, you must understand how they want/need to receive love and approach the relationship from a SELFLESS place.
Teach Your Dog to Be Calm If you want your kids to be able to sit calmly and quietly (without a phone or tablet) in a wedding, funeral, dinner party, or church service for an hour without disrupting, then they have to practice the skills of being quiet and sitting calmly PRIOR to the wedding, funeral, dinner party, or church service.
Knowing how to DO things does not make a dog balanced or happy. I can’t tell you how many dogs we’ve had to rehabilitate who’s “obedience” was WAY better than my own dogs. We’ve also trained dogs that had a trick catalog 30 deep!
Play is a very important part of fulfilling our dogs. However, making sure we are in control of the game and are challenging our dogs to use their minds to follow some simple rules is key! Watch as Brad plays structured fetch with his dog, Duke.
Doing the same thing every day at the same time and in the same order is "routine". And routine is not always great for our dogs. Oftentimes our dogs will start to anticipate the routine instead of simply relaxing and trusting that mom/dad will provide all they need for the day. They become dependent on the ROUTINE more than the owner.
It’s the little things! So often in life (to get the end result we want), we must conquer small, daily tasks. Over time they add up and we get the career we want, the body we want, the house we want, the financial position we want, etc.
The work really begins when the dogs go home. Our program is designed to be heavier on the back-end (when the dogs go home) than on the front end. We support our clients for the lifetime of their dog. In this video, we shadow Brad as he works with a client at the first in-home follow-up.