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  • Jennifer Damon

Cultivating A Fresh Start!

So, you are at your wit’s end with your dog's behavior and you have decided to hire a trainer. You’ve scheduled a session, you've straightened up your house, and you are ready for this professional to come in and see the hair-wringing frustration that you've been dealing with on a daily basis. You’re hoping this person can save the day with a myriad of tips and techniques. Then, something miraculous happens. The trainer shows up and your dog behaves like an angel. Now you are left only explaining your dog’s incessant chewing, leash pulling, etc. Why does this happen?

Does the trainer have some sort of magical mojo that soothes dogs? Possibly. More likely however, your dog is responding to your new frame of mind. When the trainer arrives, you are envisioning a fresh start. You may be imagining having all the answers in an hour or so. You are probably excited and hopeful that today everything will start to change.

It’s true that your dog may respond better to someone else because he knows you so well. He knows how far to push you and he knows that the tenth time he jumps on the couch, you’ll cave in and let him sit down. Dogs are also very sensitive creatures, though. Thousands of years of surviving on the whims of humans have led them to be in touch with our emotional states. This is why your state of mind is so important when training your pup. Cultivating a fresh start is a great way to add some oomph to adjusting your dog’s behavior. When you find yourself getting overwhelmed or frustrated, take some time off and start again the next day in a new frame of mind. Tell yourself that tomorrow will be different and you’ll begin to feel stronger and calmer. Add in a different tool like a new collar or leash. Take your pup on a different route for your morning walk. Take that walk before instead of after breakfast. Little changes here and there can rejuvenate your training. If you feel consistently overwhelmed or if you are dealing with dangerous behavior, definitely hire a trainer. For the smaller and peskier issues though, sometimes all you need is a new beginning for you and your favorite furball to create progress.

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