As a dog trainer with Four Legged Scholars dog training, Salt Lake City, I notice many of my clients have difficultly training their dogs because they have difficulty expressing their boundaries to others. When I first received, my dog, Seiki, I noticed that I wanted to train him to sit and wait at the door when visitors arrived. Subconsciously, I also had a deep seeded need for approval. As a result, I had difficulty training Seiki to perform this behavior because I was afraid to have my visitors wait at the door. I was worried about how they felt about waiting. What were they thinking? It isn’t polite to have them wait at the door. Of course with being a dog trainer I still trained my dog to wait at the door, however, the end result was a bit sloppy because I was rushing to open the door. I really wanted the person on the other side of the door to be pleased instead of having to impatiently wait.
Another example is a Salt Lake City dog training client that was rushing to meet a friend while walking her dog. She also had a goal to train her to walk loosely on the leash. She was feeling fear of being late and having the person wait as well. As a result, she wanted to walk fast to the destination and let her dog pull on the leash.
These are common scenarios. The first step is for you as a dog trainer to be aware of these patterns when you are training your dog obedience. The second step is to make better choices that will create win-win situations. In order to create dog training success, it is important to honor your friends boundaries and it is important for your friends to honor your boundaries.
Here are some tips to help yourself reach your goals despite your underlying fears of what the other person might feel or think.
- Talk to your friend beforehand. Tell him / her what you are training your dog to do and see if they are on board to help you.
- If there answer is yes, explain what it is that you are doing and what you would like them to do. Make sure it really is a true yes for them to help you.
- If the answer is no, use management. You don’t have to reinforce your dog’s bad behavior because someone else doesn’t want to help you in training. In the above examples, I could meet my friend elsewhere to avoid rewarding Seiki for not waiting at the door. My client could drive to meet her friend rather than walking.
- If the answer is no, make sure you find some other people that are willing to support you in creating dog obedience. To create Seiki to wait at the door, I definitely need someone on the other side of the door.
- Set a new intention in your life. Deep down for me I want approval from others because I am afraid of rejection or abandonment. I can set a new intention. My intention is to follow my truth in a loving manner and to honor myself and others. Thinking about this intention regularly will keep you in check to make sure you are moving toward dog obedience.
Remember no one else cares as much as you about your own dog training goals. Take a loving stand to follow what you believe, to create amazing dog training results 🙂
Johanna Teresi, professional dog trainer and owner of Four Legged Scholars Dog Training, Salt Lake City