Hi everyone! I am so excited to be writing to you again! These weekly tips are getting more and more exciting for me to write. Today is something spectacular. I mean so spectacular that when you get it, dog training is TEN times easier….seriously. However, it can take time to grasp. You will grasp it at deeper levels as you go throughout your life, if you choose 🙂 Today I am giving you some quick and easy tools to use when you feel stressed during dog training. Generally when we are stressed during dog training, our dogs are not responding to us! How do we get them to be more responsive? One way is through our energy.
Let me give you a short description. If you are attempting to teach your dog to “sit stay” and you are overwhelmed, your dog may be less likely to learn what you are communicating. Your communication is scattered because you are in overwhelm. Your visual cues are not clear. Your tonality may be too firm or having a such a frustrating tone behind it that your dog feels this chaotic energy. Your mind is also focused on other “to do’s” of the day or focused on thoughts around your dog not listening! Yikes!
However, what if you chose to shift in that moment. You shift and your dog shifts! What I mean with shifting is that you change from frustration to ease and flow. Below are some ways to do this! Some of you may know this stuff already so it might be a good review. For others it might be totally new. Regardless ENJOY!
Breath through your belly (This moves emotions out of you and can be grounding for you.)
Visualize success (You can visualize your dog performing the command, and you can visualize success on your part too. This must be believable to you for it to work strongly.)
Take a Break (Stop training in the moment. Do something else and come back later.)
Feel Your Emotion (Take a Break and fully feel your sadness (cry), anger (run), fear (move and breath), etc.)
Ask for Support (Call a friend. Call Four Legged Scholars.)
Wonder (Hmmm I wonder how I can create teamwork with my dog in this moment?)
Be authentic (Voice that you are frustrated, and tell your dog that it has to do with you and not him / her. Voicing it allows the emotion to begin to move out of your body.)
Anchor in a New Emotion (Close your eyes and go back in time when you were relaxed, happy, confident, etc. Take in this feeling. Generalize this feeling back over to when you are training your dog.)
There are many more shifts. These are just a few. Remember you create your reality with your dog. When you are inspired, your dog is inspired to learn from you!
Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC