There are so many aspects to dog training that just don’t pertain to technique. This week I want to focus on the “drama triangle” and when we are on the drama triangle with our dogs behavioral issues seem to lock in place rather than shift.
Many of you may not be familiar with the drama triangle. There are three positions on this triangle “victim,” “villain,” and “hero.” Whenever we are in conflict with money, relationships (including with our dogs), our business, etc. we are on the drama triangle. The benefits of being on the triangle is an adrenaline rush similar to riding a roller coaster ride. It actually can be fun for most of us (an addiction)!
When you are training your dog if you are being a hero then your dog has to be a victim or villain. If you are a victim when training your dog then your dog has to be a hero or a villan. If you are a villain than your dog has to be victim or a hero.
What does this mean? A victim generally says “poor me!” You could be whining “My dog won’t listen to me!” or ” I just can’t get my dog to behave!”. A villain is attacking and might say “What is your problem?”. You could say to your dog “You need to listen to me!” or “You are listening to me because you want to misbehave on purpose!”. A hero generally says “I will save you!”. This could be done when you see your dog reacting “Oh you are scared! Let me calm you down” or “Let me reassure you so you know all is okay”.
All of these methods are away from essence. When you are training your dog I invite you to check in and notice if you are on the drama triangle. When you notice you are on the drama triangle you can do one of the following to get back into open space / essence:
- Breath through your belly and choose to shift to love and wonder.
- Breath and move your body (run, dance, or just move any body part easefully).
- Take a training break and play with your dog.
When adrenaline is high constriction in the body is high. As a result, energy and emotions have a hard time flowing through the body. You then have a harder time creating the results you want. By being in open space you are able to manifest solutions much faster 🙂
Notice if you have an extremely tough or rough behavior problem. Are you on the drama triangle? Remember you don’t have to stay there. Choose love, essence, and wonder instead.
I have seen this process work time and time again with my clients. Even still, I would love to hear experiences as people shift off the drama triangle and move into essence! Please submit your personal experiences.
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC