We Are Not Training Dogs: We Are Working On Ourselves

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There are two types of clients. Those that know their dog's issues and desperately want help, and those that are denying their issues, and want to work on an alternate problem that cannot be fixed before the skeleton is let out of the closet.

We trainers do what we do because of the first group. Unfortunately, to the second group, we are the bearers of bad news, pointing out the carefully hidden skeleton in the closet. While on some level they know they created or maintained their dog's issues, they have not yet realized that they THEMSELVES must change in order to fix the issue. As they get guided in this process it can seem like the trainer is adding salt to an already raw wound. 

No behaviour can be changed with the same way of thinking that created it. If you want to stay in a place of comfort, realize you will be unable to retrain your current dog. To succeed you will be rudely shoved outside of your comfort zone, and will find yourself treading water. 

Be prepared to do the same amount of growth as you are asking from your dog. We always get the dog that we need. They are here to teach us the lessons that we need to work on in our lives. Each dog teaches me a new thing about myself, and never more than I can bare to learn. The lessons are hard to grasp and understand, but once you 'get it' those skills can never be taken away.

We are not training dogs; we are working on ourselves. This process starts out being uncomfortable as you try and find meaning from answers that make no sense to you. As you start to grasp the solutions your lessons will become a life-transforming and enjoyable process. 

Our dogs are wonderful teachers when we are willing to be open and become their students. 

Monique Anstee
Victoria, BC

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