|Posted on September 10, 2020 at 12:00 AM|
Everyone likes to receive a present, right. This is not about going to the pet shop or the clever marketing of dog toys. What I am going to discuss is a much richer present to give your dog, being PRESENT.
Animals in comparison to humans are relatively unburdened of a restless mind, it is not a good survival trait. Conversely in western society humans are subjected to mass pollution of the mind eg. television, phone, social media, advertising. Whilst all of these examples can be used productively they can be targeted towards keeping you addicted and condition the mind for constant need of device based stimulation.
Now even a walk or outdoor exercise requires ear buds and a device for some. This has transferred over to walking Fido, you know the dog that you love. Immersion in a device is being prioritised over our chosen companion. A physical lead may bind you but not truly connect you. Good thing is we can start new habits and condition more beneficial behaviours for both you and your dog. The health benefits of walking and exercise are irrefutable. I believe these are exponentially increased when done with loving attention and connection.
One observation I have learned from training a variety of clients is the advantage of working with an owner who already has this awareness. Regardless of what training you embark on it is clear to me that what dog trainers are teaching owners is presence and technique. If a client is already capable of being fully present, with their dog and the lesson, it allows full advancement on technique.
If you struggle to give full attention to your dog or a single task it is worthwhile considering other aspects where this may be prevalent for you. This is unlikely to only relate to the time you spend with your dog or when learning a new skill. The training I offer requires clients to be fully aware of their own actions as well as Fido which requires concentration. For clients who struggle to naturally focus do not panic we gradually build both dog and client up.
Effective and evidence based training is mandatory to achieve real life results. Dogs are very attune to knowing when someone is present with them. So if you learn to be present whilst training your dog I am sure success awaits. However if you have not learned to be present with your dog outside of training you can have Jekyll and Hyde.
Working on naturally being present in your life is not just beneficial for your life but also for Fido. It is pretty common to see an owner and dog completely disconnected, only anchored together by a lead. Both are missing out on being mentally connected, sharing an adventure, engaging and interacting. If a dog teaches you nothing else let it be the importance and joy of being present. We are often reminded of how short a dog life can be, in comparison to ours, so be here now for them.
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