Healing relationships part one
I have had the honour of being able to speak to other professionals in the dog training industry recently, who have been in the industry for much longer than I have been.
Speaking to different generations is always so insightful and a big learning curve. I have learnt about different perceptions in a different time, before I was born and through my childhood.
The expectations and ways that dogs used to be treated and the ways that dogs were trained. It actually still happens now, but is definitely a lot less prevalent.
Why? Because so many of these wonderful professionals have crossed over. This means crossed over to a commitment of force free training. To not use any tool that could cause harm, pain or fear (even the threat of fear) to a dog.
It makes me sad to listen and I've also learned things I have never considered before such as the ways that particular tools could be used to stop unwanted behaviour. I'm not sharing what it is but the thought never crossed my naive mind. But apparently it's very common for the use of this tool.
So what is the upside to this? As well as hearing how things used to be done a certain way, I've also learned how these people asked their dogs for forgiveness, having to forgive themselves, healing trauma in both their dogs and themselves.
It can be really hard to educate, educate and throw facts and figures at people, with science which has no opinion, it's just data of the outcome of an experiment. You can't argue with it because it is just data.
It's kind of like you can't argue with maths, if you add, subtract, multiply or divide with two fixed figures, there's only one right answer. You may not like the answer but it can't be argued with.
I'm very much like this when it comes to friendships and asking for advice. First rule, don't ask me. All of my friends know, you don't ask me for advice unless it's animal centred. Anything to do with human relationships is off limits. I'll always be there for them to support and to listen and to guide them if they ask for it.
It's very much the same with dog training, I can share my experiences, how they use that information is up to them.
We can put out resources and show them indirectly a better way, a kinder way and deep relationships with dogs via YouTube for example. Such as collaborative care and how wonderful it is to give control back to the dog.
This is what works for people and people I have spoken to, by being taught by others, not in their face or calling them out, but by showing them, there is a better way, a kinder way for a healthy and trusting relationship with a dog.
When the light bulb switches on this is when the healing can begin, again much like the end of a toxic relationship. You cannot heal from trauma whilst you are submersed in trauma, but once you are out of danger, then you can heal.
This is the same for dogs, once someone wakes up and that light bulb switches on, your dog can then predict the pattern of behaviour to expect. For example no more pain from aversives or expectation of fear.
Will it take time? Yes.
Will your dog trust you instantly? Hell, no!
Can you learn to heal together? Hell, yes!
If you are interested in joining me on this journey backed by science, I'm going to do a series of blogs on this. I'm going to make it as educational as possible and this isn't just for people who use aversives. It will be beneficial to everyone. Because knowledge is power and with knowledge comes learning, through learning comes healing.
Look out for part two next!
For Mutts & Mischief
If you enjoy my blogs and
would like to support my
work, you can support
me by buying me a Coffee!