Natural Dog Training unlocks the greatest secret in our understanding of America’s most beloved pet.
In today’s market we are encouraged to be very “busy” with our dogs. We begin with early puppy training and socialization, then progress through developing our inner pack leaders, apply a consistent system of rewards or consequences and add lots of physical exercise and mental stimulation to satisfy the idea that “a tired dog is a happy dog.” In today’s world, canine owners have never been more engaged and dedicated to the welfare of their pups.
But there is a darker side to this story. Most clients who walk through our door are frustrated, confused and exhausted. Some have internalized strong feelings of shame and guilt because despite all their time and money, their dog is still acting out. It is in our nature to internalize our dog’s poor behavior as a direct reflection of our capability, so we are overwhelmed with the feeling of failure. Some of us simply believe that our dogs are just stubborn and rebellious. What we do not do, however, is question the system through which we raised our pup. Today’s training market takes an “outside looking in” perspective to dog training, meaning a dog’s behavior is primarily seen as governed by thinking, intention and therefore choice. So naturally, we have learned how to apply a system of rewards and consequences to encourage our dogs to make better choices that align with our given values. But the market has missed an important and crucial piece.
Kevin Behan discovered, through a lifetime’s work of studying canine behavior, that behavior is influenced by an “inside-out perspective.” Meaning, how a dog is feeling inside their body is the primary influence indicating how a dog navigates a given situation. If a dog “feels well” or “feels at-ease in their body” under any given pressure or stimulus, then they can move well relative to others and socially adapt to any given situation. If the dog feels “ill-at ease” in their body, then the dog kicks into instinctual behaviors categorized by survival or fight/flight responses. From the dog’s perspective, it is simply attempting to stop their body from collapsing into a state of abject fear and panic. When the mailman appears, your dog will actually feel as if the mailman is collapsing their system and the dog attacks or hides from the mailman in an attempt to feel better. A dog who “feels-at-ease” in any given situation is flexible and socially adaptive. Therefore, the mailman is integrated as part of “feeling well.”
As Kevin writes, “All aggression is rooted in fear. It is simply ‘blocked attraction’ with the block being fear. ” This explains why some dogs love the mailman and others do not. Substitute the mailman for any other trigger: dogs, strangers, children, food or cars and you get the general pattern.
So how can Natural Dog Training help you and your dog?
- Learn how to make better choices with your dog in their environment to help them “feel better” and therefore prevent problems from developing.
- Learn the body language associated with feeling “at-ease in the body” versus “ill-at ease”
- Understand how your dog’s problems have come to develop.
- Develop “Emotional Rapport” with your dog by learning 5 Core exercises to help increase your dog’s capacity to feel and therefore move well with you.
- Shape the 5 Core exercises into basic obedience skills
- Learn how to use the 5 Core exercises to increase your dog’s capacity to socially adapt to any given situation
- Learn how to use your touch as a tool to supple, relax and re-sensualize the body. Calm your dog with touch.
- Understand how you, the owner, are the only influence needed to help your dog feel well and adjust to any circumstance.