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The Most Toxic Training Block

Throughout the years of being a dog training with Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training, Salt Lake City, I have noticed the mind to be the biggest block to our dog training success.  Many times there are events that happen in our lives that take up our emotional time and energy.  This prevents us from moving forward in reaching our goals in regards to dog training.  It is easy to get off track because something else in our lives demands attention.  This could include work, a spouse, a child, another family member, etc.  Sometimes the actual event or instance that is occurring isn’t really the block.  It is something deeper and more profound.

When something happens in our lives, we create meaning behind it and then hold this meaning to be true.  For example, let’s say you get into a fight with your spouse.  As a result, of the fight you make up a story in your mind that you are not good enough, disrespected, unimportant, or something similar.  This story that you have created then trickles over into other areas of your life including training your dog.  The cost of believing this story can create you to feel tired, withdrawn, shut down, and of course there are many other options. As a result of this, you then choose certain actions.  These actions could result in lack of progress in your dog training and might include avoiding dog training with your dog because you are mentally and emotionally drained.  It is then easy to blame the lack of obedience progress on these overt things that are going on in your life: work, your family, etc.  In reality, it has nothing to do with them.  It is the thoughts and energy you created around those incidents.

So how do we shift out of this to create what we want with our dogs?  As a Salt Lake City dog trainer, I am still learning and applying these concepts.  It is a process for me.  I am realizing as I do more self introspection it comes down to a choice. I can get stuck in the story of “not enough time,” “not good enough,” “too busy,” “failing,” “not enough energy,” etc or I can realize that I have the option to create whatever meaning I want in my life!

When something happens all that is true is what happened. The incident itself has no meaning until we create meaning behind it.  So when this incident happens, the first step is to acknowledge that you created meaning behind it.  Then from there you have a few choices.

1.) Hold onto the default meaning that you put on the incident.  I am failing.  I am rejected.  I don’t have enough time.  Etc.  This will result in a more challenging end result in regards to dog training.  Salt Lake City has many programs including Landmark that can support you to understand more about why this is ineffective.

2.) Realize that the incident has no meaning and just remind yourself that it is meaningless.  The incident has no meaning in itself.

3.) After realizing that there is no meaning, choose the meaning you would like to create in your life.  For example: You could create the possibility of peace and calm energy.  You could create the possibility of love and connection.  You could create the possibility of plenty of time to train your dog.  You can put anything you want in the vortex of “no meaning.”  What do you want to fill the empty meaningless space in your mind with?

Once you have created the meaning that you want in your life then you will then take action steps that will open yourself up to that new possibility. Yes it takes continual time and recommitment.  It is a practice and you will have to repeat the steps over and over again in your life.  Eventually, it will become easier to apply. As you become an expert at this,  you will realize that dog obedience becomes much easier.

Your turn! We want to hear from you in a comment below!

What are some incidents in your life that are occurring in your life and what is the meaning that you have created behind those incidents? What is the new possibility you are wanting to open yourself up to?  As a result, what actions steps will you take that will create you to reach your dog training goals?


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

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