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Changing from Frustration to Love, Allows Us to Create a Loving Partnership with Our Dogs

As I have been reconstructing my blog I came across this post from a few years ago that I never published!  This post has an amazing message about loving what is.  As I reflect back into my past, I realize it is time for me to apply this post into my life now.

The story and the exercise below is created to shift you from frustration to love with your dog.  These exercises are great for people who own a dog that has a stressful behavioral issue or a stressful obedience issue.

Yesterday, I compared my life to someone else’s life.  As a result, I was focusing on what I did not have instead of what I wanted.  I talked to my friend, and he was having a blast at his house with his friends.  I wasn’t invited.  As I got off the phone, I felt sad. I began to wonder why I wasn’t invited.  Then I began to realize that happiness comes from our internal selves and has nothing to do with our external environment.

I began to focus on loving myself just the way I am and to love the life that I have right now.  I also realize that I have the power to create whatever I want in my life.  The more I focus on what is missing, the more I get what is missing.  The more I focus on creating what I want and feeling grateful for what I already have, the happier I feel.  I can then live in a world that is constantly filled with love and light.

This morning I realized that I wanted to write about this in regards to dog training.  Salt Lake City, is full of owners who experience frustration with their dogs. I notice that many of my clients want their dogs to be different. For example they want their dog to walk on the leash better, to be quiet, to sit instead of jump, etc.  These are all wonderful things.  However, the more we focus on what our dog is doing wrong the less we create what we want and the less gratitude we have.

My advice to dog lovers is the following.  Focus on what you want to create.  If you want your dog to sit instead of jump.  Focus on how your dog is sitting more instead of how your dog still jumps sometimes.  If you are unsure of what you want, be present with not knowing. Then seek advice.  Read a dog training book, talk to friends, or receive support by contacting Four Legged Scholars LLC Dog Training, Salt Lake City.

Also focus on what you have now. Be grateful.  Make a list and focus on what you love about your dog!

Here is example:

I am grateful for my dog, Seiki.

  • He meditates with me.
  • He is always full of love.
  • When I feel sad, angry, etc he is always there to comfort me.
  • He makes me laugh as he is so good at entertaining himself.  He runs circles in my yard!
  • He loves to jump and catch the snow.
  • He loves to catch flies and I love watching how it is so easy and effortless for him.
  • He loves people in general.
  • He is always wanting to play no  matter what.  I always have a play buddy.
  • He is an awesome buddy when I am hiking.
  • He cuddles with me at night like a teddy bear.
  • He is a fast learner with dog training.  Salt Lake City has many awesome dog parks where I can train him.
  • When I look into his eyes I see his soul.

As you focus on gratitude for your dog.  Do more of those activities together and treasure those moments.  Focus on fun activities that you can do with your dog now. This is a wonderful exercise to practice .  It will shift you from frustration to love in a matter of seconds.

Many of my Salt Lake City, dog training clients hit burn out or frustration when they have an aggressive or fearful dog.  They may feel that they are excluded from activities that other people can do with their dogs.  This is similar to how I felt when I wasn’t invited to hang out with my friends.  I felt excluded. Now try this above exercise and shift from feeling excluded to creating joy with your dog.  Remember each dog has a special gift that another dog doesn’t have.  If we focus on gratitude, we can remember that we can just love our dogs for who they are in this moment with no changes.

Your Turn!

We want to hear from you!  Please comment below.  What special gifts does your dog give to you?

Happy Training!

Johanna Teresi Professional Dog Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC Dog Training, Salt Lake City

Blog Archives

Britnie Sorensen
Britnie Sorensen
18:11 06 Apr 24
This is our second round of training with Johanna! Our Bullmastiff Abbi is different from our previous dogs, and we knew Johanna would be able to help us. We reached out and were in excellent hands! Johanna was able to redirect our training efforts, majority of sessions were held virtually and supported with videos of us training Abbi. We will keep using Johanna no matter where life takes us. Her love and compassion for our puppy, and us, come through in every interaction. We are in a much better place and understanding of Abbi after working with Johanna!
Roberta Bonnell
Roberta Bonnell
01:37 24 Mar 24
My Australian Shepard had moderate separation anxiety and Johanna was able to help me get him to a point where I can see him being able to be home alone before the end of the year! Very grateful for all of her training expertise.
Karen Mara
Karen Mara
21:19 21 Jan 24
I recently met with Johanna for help with my rambunctious teenager, Roger. We worked on coming when called, leash walking, and staying calm around other dogs when on leash. After two sessions, Roger made huge improvements, and he continues to improve as we practice on our own. Johanna really understands dogs and is very good at communicating with people. She knows how to make dog training fun. I've worked with other trainers, and Johanna is by far the best.
Wendy Nighswonger
Wendy Nighswonger
18:47 08 Jul 23
I have known Johanna for 13 years. She has helped me with several dogs, but she recently helped me train my new black lab puppy, Raven. I have moved to another state so all of my training with Raven was done online via Zoom. I believe that the one-on-one training I received through Zoom was more personalized and thorough, especially with the way Johanna placed every ounce of training and recommendation on a board through an app that I can refer back when I need. Johanna is very intuitive and knew when stress was on overload for me, therefore tailoring my training for that day around making Raven feel good while simultaneously taking my stress load down. Johanna has years of experience and while her knowledge is a gold mine, it is her gentle patience and love for her clients that make this training so perfect. I would hire her again and again. She is a true canine whisperer. Thank you Four Legged Scholars and thank you Johanna!Wendy N. ~ Oregon
Christina Richards
Christina Richards
18:13 10 Feb 23
Johanna at Four Legged Scholars is great. She tailored my program to fit my needs and was easy to work with. My puppy responded very well to what she taught us together over Zoom. She's patient and understanding. We're still utilizing the things we learned and he's a well-behaved puppy. Thank you!
Karyl Bennion
Karyl Bennion
19:49 05 Feb 23
I adopted Frida as a companion that I could travel, walk and hike with. She loves to hike and walk but pulled on the leash and jumped at distractions. I learned how to be calm and talk in a non threatening way to her. She responds to this much better than yelling at her. The click and treat method that I learned works so well in getting her attention as well as the "target" training. Frida has improved greatly with these methods. I will continue the knowledge I have learned with her. I did the live on-line training and it was very successful. I am so happy we signed up.
Rachel Giddings
Rachel Giddings
02:57 12 Dec 22
My dog was abused in his previous home and has always been afraid of strangers. I wanted to train him and help him to be more confident, but I didn't know how to do that if he was afraid of his trainer.Doing online training with Joanna was perfect for both of us! Joanna helped me learn how to read my dog and understand his triggers. We then worked together on BAT training, which taught him self-soothing behaviors and showed him how to confidently and safely handle difficult situations. I never thought I would have fun doing homework with my dog, but he and I benefited from it tremendously. Working with Joanna via Zoom was perfect for my dog and me.
Shawn McMillen
Shawn McMillen
02:09 24 Oct 22
My 2 year old doodle was struggling with people walking by the house, barking incessantly, tugging on walks, improving recall when off leash and , for me, how to be a better more engaging human for my buddy. The personalized, online sessions exceeded all my expectations. The review of video homework sessions was awesome. We saw improvement in each of the priority areas and I developed real, tangible, lasting skills/tools to be a better pet person. Thanks Johanna!
Courtney Daniels
Courtney Daniels
19:59 12 Sep 22
12 years ago I got a puppy and quickly realized I was in over my head. I wanted to have a good, well trained dog, but I was overwhelmed by methods and my puppies behavior.I joined the four legged scholars puppy training with my little 4 month old puppy Bowie, and saw immediate understanding with the clicker work. It gave us this incredibly ability to communicate and she excelled.We went on to take several courses that established general obedience, helped me turn a STRONG leash puller into a loose leash master (I took that course twice because it was a huge issue for us and I NEEDED help and reassurance from Johanna that I could do it) as well as skill class, that helped solidify a beautiful relationship between us. Learning clicker shaping allowed me to confidently teach complex and unique commands on my own as well, like waving hello and closing kitchen cabinets.My Bowie has climbed to the top of mountains for me staying right by my side never pulling on her leash. I've targeted her off trails to protect her from startling a mama moose and her baby. She's loved on my kids without jumping on them and knocking them over. She's allowed the neighbor girl who has always had a fear of dogs to walk her without pulling at whatever pace she was comfortable with. She shows off with all her fun little tricks Johanna gave me the tools to train my dog into an amazing companion.I feel so lucky to have found your training program and to have the relationship I do with my Bowie girl. These courses have a profound and lasting impact on the lives of families and their pups, thank you for that gift.
Megan Pond-Maxwell
Megan Pond-Maxwell
16:02 18 May 22
I am so grateful to have found Johanna. She was with us every step of the way as we tackled separation anxiety training and reactivity training with Daisy, my Mini Australian Shepherd. As a first time dog owner, I felt at a loss about how to manage my very vocal, scared, stressed, yet loveable dog. She had all of the typical puppy behavior, such as jumping, nipping/biting, leash pulling, as well as barking. On top of that, she was also not able to be alone without feeling terrified, as well as vocally and behaviorally reactive to other dogs, adults, and kids. I felt completely overwhelmed and Johanna created programs that felt manageable and doable. Each training session, I felt understood and empowered working with Johanna. Over the course of our programs, I felt that we accomplished the steps of the training process, strengthened the dog-human relationship, and increased my own awareness of my dog's emotional cues so that I could better work with her. My dog can now be on her own feeling relaxed and playful, her problematic puppy behaviors have significantly improved, she can walk on her leash loosely, listen to commands, and she can better tolerate other adults, dogs, and children as compared to where we first started. Our online experience was very positive. I look forward to continually implementing the tools and skills we have learned along the way to move forward in a positive direction that strengthens our human-animal bond and reduces distressing behaviors and emotional stress and overwhelm. Thank you Four Legged Scholars! I highly, highly recommend working with Johanna.
Emily Harward
Emily Harward
03:36 24 Apr 22
Our rescue dog is sweet and playful with us, but her behavior around other dogs and people could be unpredictable. She would act aggressively around adults (lunging and barking), and would sometimes be aggressive toward other dogs. We chose to do online training with Johanna. I was skeptical that online training would work, but it ended up being very effective. Johanna taught me the skills I needed to train my dog, and provided resources that I could use throughout the week as I worked on the assigned tasks. I was also able to send her videos of me working with my dog, so she could provide feedback and help me improve. Johanna personalized the program and made changes as needed to ensure that I could meet my goals. Since working with Four Legged Scholars, neighbors have commented on how much better behaved my dog is, and I don't have to worry about her lunging and barking at people or other dogs when we are out for a walk anymore. We still have a lot of work to do with our dog, and I feel like doing the personalized online sessions with Johanna has given me the knowledge, and resources to continue training my dog.
Angel Lanoy
Angel Lanoy
15:22 16 Jun 21
We have a large family, including three big dogs. So when our biggest dog Obi, the Rottweiler, started showing aggression we panicked. The vet suggested we put him down after an experience in the office. He then said we could also try training and gave us Johanna's business card. Just a phone call with her made us feel like there was hope. We signed up to do the online sessions with FourLeggedScholars. The process from the first contact to the last was well oiled and very helpful. Obi gets to stay with our family now and we feel like meting with her has given us the guidance and knowledge we need to keep our family, friends and him safe. I was a tad worried about doing the training online, but it really worked out great and we were able to fit such a big task into our busy schedules. I feel like she set us up for success from the very beginning. Thank you.
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  1. kathiegregory

    Hi Johanna, I love this post.
    It is so true that what we focus on is where our perception lies. I also appreciate, as do you, that people find it so hard to know what to do to resolve issues. So much information out there, which is the best to follow?
    You have not only made a great point about perception and inner happiness and contentment here, but also that when you treat your dogs with that love that you have for what they are good at, it spills over into other areas too. Obviously it will not solve behavioural problems, but it can make such a difference to the overall relationship, helping people feel more able to tackle those problems. Kathie.x

  2. fourleggedscholars

    Hi Kathie! I loved reading your perspective of this post!!! I so agree that perception is a huge aspect in our happiness and love with our animals! Thank you for acknowledging this!! Namaste!

  3. Dana Cook

    Hi Johanna,

    Thank you for challenging me to write a post about my dog Forest.
    I actually have 3 dogs. All of whom I love equally and who have individual, special places in my heart. Tazz is our 12 year old man. A labrador and a loyal friend. Jack is our 9 year old pug. He’s happiest when he’s sitting on our feet, just touching us. And then there’s Forest, our new addition. A 7-month old Pit Bull. I found her through a KSL ad when she was 6 1/2 weeks old. It was love at first sight for me. I think I adopted her to fill a void that I was feeling in my life. Right away, I could see that she was special and I wanted to train her correctly, mostly to dispel the “stigma” that is associated with Pit Bulls. She has brought so much happiness to my heart and is definitely filling “that void”.

    *On any given day, I can depend on Forest to put a smile on my face. Not just a grin but a full on
    smile where my eyes wrinkle up and the corners of my mouth almost touch my ears.
    * I really only need to look at her sweet, pit bull face, and my heart melts in love.
    * I’ve always been a huge animal lover, but she has brought my love for an animal to a whole
    other level.
    * She LOVES people of all ages, but especially children.
    * She’s a true “goof ball” which helps to keep things in perspective. (I tend to take life too
    * She LOVES to play. Any game is her favorite.
    * She’s a fast learner which makes training her feel successful and rewarding.
    * You can see the trust in her face when she is learning something new.
    * She follows me from room to room, all day long, which makes me feel loved by her.
    * At 10:30 every night, she runs around and around to “work out her energy” then “crashes” on
    our bed and falls asleep. It’s kind of her way of putting herself to bed. But if we’re in the office
    working during this time, she sits under our desk and complains, until we go to our bedroom
    so she can go to bed.
    * She uses her paws like hands to touch my face when she wants to show affection.
    * She buries every bone we ever give her.
    * She loves to swim in the pool. If we stop throwing the ball into the water for her to swim after,
    she’ll drop the ball in herself and then jump in after it. Or just amuse herself by leisurely
    swimming around by herself.
    * Everyday I discover new things about her that keep me utterly hooked.
    * She has my soul for life.

    • fourleggedscholars

      Dana, This post melts my heart! I am glad you chose to take the challenge. Above all not only did you take the challenge but you put your full on heart and soul in this post! My intention is for you to look at this as often as you need to when you need to shift your perspective! Remember the challenges are just small stuff. What is really important? The love you two have for each other and the above proves it! Happiness and connection is much more important than terminal goals. Enjoy the journey and just watch where the two of you end up! You might be surprised! Looking forward to our next session! Namaste!