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Creating a Peaceful Environment in Stressful Family Situations with Your Dog

If you live a busy family life this post will relate to your life! Are you sick and tired of reading dog training books that make it seem so simple to train your dog?  How do you address the time when your child is screaming for attention and at the same time your dog needs to go outside to go potty?  How do you deal with the time your dog eats some food off the table while you are chasing your toddler at mealtime?  What can you do when you look away for 5 seconds, your child grabs your dog’s tail and your dog growls?  Training isn’t all systematic and simple. Many dog training obedience books do not address urgent stressful fast paced scenarios. These urgent times are not the proper time to do training but they are times that we can either strengthen your trust bond with your dog or destroy it by dealing with the scenario in unhealthy manners such as yelling.

Some of you are aware that I am a single mom and I own a hyper border collie.  The above scenarios are actual examples of things that have happened in my life.  I realize that if it has happened in my life as a professional Salt Lake City dog trainer, I can only imagine what is occurring in the average family household.  So how do we get a grip in these situations without loosing it and then destroying all of the dog training dreams that we are wanting to create?

Creating a more peaceful and obedient household with your dog is more than just day-to-day training.  Peace is an internal experience that results from conscious outward actions. Below are some actions you can take to create a more peaceful home with your dog during those urgent moments.

1.) Be compassionate and forgive yourself.  You are not perfect and you are going to forget things and not always make the best choices.

2.) Reflect later when you are more calm.  After the stressful scenario, re-evaluate.  Discover what you can do differently the next time.

3.) Create alone time.  This “you” time will help you rejuvenate and be more calm when you are with your human and dog family.

4.) Take a break if you are loosing it.  Do so immediately.  You can put your dog in his crate or in an enclosed room for a few minutes.  Your child or children can play on their own or watch a movie.  Allow yourself the immediate time you need to calm down.

5.) In the middle of the scenario be as authentic and accountable as you can. For example you can say this to your children or your spouse: “I feel angry right now.  I notice that I am overwhelmed and I cannot focus.  I need to take a break.  I am going to have the children watch a show and put the dog in his crate for a bit.  I will be back as soon as I can ground myself and think more calmly.”

6.) Delegate to receive the support when you need it the most!  There are many tasks that you can delegate so that you can be more present with your children and your dog.

The heat of a stressful moment is not the time to train your dog.  This is a time to be present and make a conscious choice that will forever affect the trust bond with your human and dog family. Practice training obedience outside of these stressful scenarios.  Once your dog knows the obedience commands well you can then begin to request them immediately when you need a reliable and quick response.  Above all receive the support you need through other Salt Lake City dog trainers.

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

What did you learn that will support you to create more peace and obedience in urgent stressful scenarios with your dog and human family?


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



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