“Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness.”
So in recent weeks, I’ve been piling a lot of stress on myself, and my dogs while training. Working with some hard behaviour cases.
Quite frankly, the magic of working with dogs lost it’s spark just recently. I’ve been pulling my hair out with some training routines, and stubborn owners.
This photo made me realise, that piling too much pressure on myself, my dogs and other peoples dog’s is just making it harder to train, not easier. This was taken in over a year ago, almost two. Back when I was still learning what I know now. This show’s my pure joy having taught my girl to find a suspect, then escort them off site. Simple for some, but for me a huge achievement since she’s only 10 months old. She is pure perfection here to me, and it made me think about how much pressure is starting to effect my happiness.
It led me to think about what we really want from dog training? Why train a dog? Why is there so much pressure?
What all dog owners want, is a happy life with their dogs. This means adding in training to get the behaviour we want, in order to be happy. For example, loose lead walking, toilet training, recall, and nice manners with people. Their all easy things to achieve, but if their not there things aren’t happy. Your walks aren’t enjoyable, that new puppy love wains fast when you step in yet another dog poo on your best rug.
You and your dog deserve to be happy, everyone does. Training, with or without a trainer can put a strain on your relationship. or lack of training too. Many people start to work with me and see great results fast, where as other dogs the issues run deep and need lots of hard work over a long period. These people can loose heart, and wonder if their dog will ever be like the Spaniel from across the street who walks to heel off lead.
Your happiness shouldn’t be based on what other owners can do with their dogs, but what you have achieved with yours. People come to me as a last resort, after Google or friends advice has failed often. They see my training as their last resort to be happy with their dog, training can be slow and stressful for both dog and owner.
Often it seem’s like your getting no where, but when they look back they see how far they have come.
The dog no longer jumps at guests, it no longer lunges at dogs on the street, no it’s not perfect as it still growls as they pass and chews the floor boards, but as things improve these other behaviours will too.
I’ve been here with my own dogs, I’ve cried about them. I’ve thought “What the hell am I doing” many a time, as my dogs are expected to be perfect because I’m a trainer. What I have forgotten, and what all dog owners forget is that dogs are their own being. They have their own thoughts and feelings, if they don’t like it, no matter how many treats you have their not going to go near it. They just don’t like it.
We all get frustrated and upset, it’s human nature. Our dogs should make us happy even with a few training quirks. Behaviour issues can be changed, they can be improved easily.
Your happiness can be too, just by realising things aren’t as bad as they seem.
Your dog isn’t the worst on the planet, and your not the most horrible owner. Call in help when needed, I do. When I get stuck on things because I’m too involved, I ask in someone for a third person perspective, I call in another dog trainer.
The spark is back, and passion to do things right and steady. Rather than pile on the stress to get things perfect. I know what I can do, I can tell you what each dog owner I meet can do upon my arrival, and what they can now do once I leave. It’s always progress towards the goal of happiness with their dogs.
It’s all easier said than done, and when in the moment, when you dog is barking at that other dog, and your flustered, the other owner is judging you. It’s hard to think of the happiness at the end of the tunnel. But it comes, and you won’t even notice. The day your dog walks past quietly, and greets another dog without barking is the happiest day you’ll have with them, it’s a demonstration of your training and work ethic.
A demonstration of your success into happiness, for not only you but also your dog.
A happy owner has a happy dog, your dog feels your emotion. They love when your happy, and want to make your feel that way all the time. Dogs want to please you, we selected them to be that way, once you have owned a dog you never want to go back to life without your dog as they make you so happy.
Training with you dog is a time to keep your bond strong, and spend time not worrying about the rest of the world. Just you and your dog, learning something as simple as sit, or something as complicated as dancing. What ever you choose to learn, it should be in a way that has an outcome that increases both your happiness.
If thing’s aren’t going to plan, and your feeling down about it. Question what your trying to achieve, why and how? Is their a better or different route. Take a step back, re-assess and start again. Maybe call in professional help, change trainers (Not all trainers suit each owner), ask friends or just take a breather chalk it up to a bad day.
Tomorrow is always another day.
Quote – http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/happiness