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Some Thoughts on "Dog Training" From Swedish Dog Listener-Mervi Kärki
Posted on 17/10/2014
Filed under: Traditional Dog Training? The Dog's View How Your Dog Thinks
I held a Foundation Course in Sweden a couple of weeks ago and I just have to share with you some of my thoughts.
There are so many ways to “train” your dog and there will probably always be so many dog owners are confused about what is the right thing to do so they can give their dog the best life they possibly can.
It is so important to see the difference between communication and “training”; Amichien® Bonding enables people to fully understand their dogs and by understanding, communicate effectively, for the first time.
Many dog owners that I meet struggle a lot even though they may have already had a consultation with a Dog Listener – they know what to do but their everyday life is making it hard for them to succeed. However, thanks to the lifetime support all Dog Listeners offer, they get the help they need IF they want it. Some owners just don’t want it. They prefer instead to avoid seeing their dog from the right perspective because it requires them to start working on themselves instead of the dog.
We all look at things from the “what’s in it for me?” perspective and if people would actually apply Amichien Bonding, as advised, and learn to really communicate with their dogs, they will feel real pride in the knowledge that they can really understand their dogs and see real results; their relationship improves and they see how they and their dogs are growing together.
Of course, the speed of the process depends on the individual personality of the dogs and some owners will need to work harder than others. Some owners need more persistence to get over several “humps” and work against a little resistance to deserve the leadership role they aspire to. Not all dog owners have the interest or commitment and have no desire to change themselves; because it requires too much of them ... either because of their own traditional feelings about living with dogs or because of the heavy pressure and resistance from people around them, including loved ones.
Most AB practical measures tend to go well but when we get to emotions, it becomes more difficult. Owners seem to be happy with using the techniques employed for walking their dog, feeding it and alleviating its feelings of perceived danger etc. but they do not want to work with the status issues because that is too hard for them. It is so ingrained in our psyche to “pay homage” to our dogs.
Often when I have done a consultation and I later have a back up chat with the owners, I ask about the Status situation I get the same answer: “I know I’m doing it wrong but it is so difficult to do what you’ve advised (for example, not petting the dog when it comes on its own terms or not to rush up to your dog to greet it after a separation) and I ask: why is it difficult , you don’t need to do anything? You just act like normal for a brief period (without the initial greeting)and if you just wait a little while you can then call your dog to you and give it all the fuss you want. You can interact with your dog on your terms, helping it understand your role and place in the “pack”. Your dog will thank you for the clear signals you are now giving that it , signals that it can actually understand, taking the stress of any confusion away.
As I said earlier, sometimes even though dog owners have had a consultation they still don’t always understand the deeper purpose and that’s why I feel that the Foundation course is so wonderful. I have had my clients participating on the Swedish FC and the feedback has been: “I thought I knew Amichien Bonding well but now, after this course, I really understand what it is about and now I will go home and be able to use it much more effectively (often they mean, also get the family on board because dogs are easy but families can be little more difficult)”
When we start the Foundation Course, the first day, the students almost just jump in their chairs with their excited expectations, “Please teach us about our dogs, teach us, teach us…”, as you would expect. I ask them to write down all their own questions about their own dog on a piece of paper and then tell them that we will take care of those questions later the next day.
At that point, there are often little sighs of disappointment but I know that we first have to explain how dogs think and leave questions about individual dogs aside (for the moment), if we are going to see our dogs from the right perspective. As always, when we come to the next day and going through work we have already covered, they look at their papers and see their questions are redundant and have already been answered.
There is so much I would like to say about how grateful I am for the knowledge of Amichien Bonding that it could fill a whole book but I will spare you from that and say that I know that all of you could have exactly the have the same feeling. I am so proud and happy to have the trust to run Foundation Courses here in Sweden.
Right now I am planning our next event in Sweden in a few weeks; the next Advanced Course with Jan as a tutor and we will finish it with an evening talk. So much to look forward to and the dogs in Sweden are wagging their tails and saying THANK YOU!
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