Is there a dog training frustration you would like to completely change? Something that annoys you over and over but your dog never seems to “get it” and behave how you want?  I want you to consider with me what it would look like if you could take a ‘philosophical flip’ and turn any frustration or annoyance with your dog completely around.

I’ve been training dogs for many, many years now … and not just my own …. I’ve trained dogs for other people and have also trained of thousands people to train their own dogs …. and let me tell you they have turned into phenomenal trainers! But phenomenal dog training needs to start with that “philosophical flip”.

I went live on Facebook recently to discuss this flip as part of our recent free dog training Masterclass and recorded the video for you.

Punishment, Blame and Judgement

Here’s what traditionally happens when we first start training our dog … we take our mental magnifying glass and look at our dog and the outcome of our training. And, that outcome is not what we want. Our dog is still getting into the garbage, jumping on guests, rushing out of doors, dragging us down the street, running away when we call, ignoring us, counter surfing, destroying things in the house and generally being ‘disobedient’, despite being corrected by us countless times.

And traditionally our dog gets the blame for this outcome. We might even say to our dog “what did you do!?” …. “you know better!” …. “you are stupid!” …. “you are stubborn!” …. “you are untrainable” … “bad dog” … “stop it” … “don’t” …

When we look at our dog and the outcome of our training is not what we were expecting, our reaction can go to straight to that of PB&J (Punishment, Blame and Judgement).  Because it was not US who made the mess of the living room, or tipped out the garbage, or shredded the couch, or lunged at another dog, or chased the bunny, or ate tonight’s meal off the counter, it was our dog.

We judge our dog because we have put in all that work training and the outcome is not at all what we were expecting. It’s impacting on our life it’s our dog’s fault. We gave our dog rules, and he is not following them. There is obviously something wrong with the dog! We might make his world smaller and smaller as he obviously can’t be trusted. And we might even give up on that dog.

The Solution of a Philosophical Flip

What if, instead of our mental magnifying glass looking at our dog and our training, and turning the blame on our dog, we looked at things differently? Instead of blaming our dog, we could look at what we could DO to motivate our dog to get the outcome we want. What if we could consider looking at our dog’s behaviour to see when it started falling short of our expectations … it is usually much, much earlier than when we finally reach exasperation point.

How much reinforcement did we put into the outcome that we really wanted?  And if the outcome is not what we want, where was the reinforcement coming from? Because reinforcements are more than just our praise, a cookie or a toy that the dog might want. Reinforcement is the chance to chase the squirrel or shredding the couch in the living room. Reinforcement takes a lot of forms.

The real lesson is that all this time we thought we were training a dog, but in fact, the lessons were coming to us from that dog. Are we paying attention to those lessons? One of the biggest is that we can’t truly control any other living being in our life, but we can control our responses, and we can control how we motivate and how we reinforce or allow that reinforcement to happen.

There are clear, strategic, layers to get you the dog training outcome you want, anywhere, anytime, but you’ve got to be willing to consider a philosophical flip on how to train dogs.

The Possibilities for Success in Dog Training

Once that philosophical flip on dog training happens, it’s a mind blow. It opens up all kinds of possibilities for us and our dogs. Instead of looking at training your dog from the place of “don’t” you can look at it from the place of training what you “DO” want. Dog’s don’t understand don’t because don’t is a concept. Dogs understand “do”, and when you flip your thoughts and training to what you do want, you are going to have a much more successful outcome and have a lot better relationship with your dog.

One thing that is certain is that we all love our dogs. I know many of you reading this have made the philosophical flip and are training from a place where you are with your dog and not blaming, and your reactions are coming from a place of love and kindness …. and your training is congruent with the person you want to be.

Let’s face it, relating to our dogs, or the people in our lives, from the place punishment, blame and judgement is not a place any of us really want to be. If you want to make the flip, or are intrigued about HOW to train your dog to understand what you DO want, you might need a helping hand.

Right now I have a Masterclass on dog training that I’m running absolutely free of charge. I do this every year, and we invite the world to join in. We would love for you to join us. Watch the videos, give it a go, ask questions, be part of the conversation, and we will be by your side. You are going to have a mind blown and be able to make a change in your dog the way I’m telling you is possible. All from a place of kindness and love. (Update: Our Masterclass is over now, but if you you want to learn more, you can join in with our ItsYerChoice Summit).

Today I am grateful for everyone who has joined us in our free dog training Masterclass to learn about the possibilities in dog training and the way we relate to our dogs.