You know the feeling. You see a person walking their dog in the distance. You’re not sure if you should proceed forward or simply turn around and avoid the situation entirely.
Because you are feeling quite optimistic and your pup has been doing ‘ok’ on your walks, you decide to walk forward and hope all will be ok.
As you get closer, your dog appears to be fine and then all of a sudden, it happens.
Your pup starts barking. You feel the tension on the leash tighten and your pup pulls you forward.
You try to get your pup’s attention with treats, their name, or even yanking the leash but nothing is working.
It’s too late!
When we train for the situation, not in the situation, your pup has the opportunity to rehearse and become what you want them to do and and be, rather than what they have been rehearsing for far too long.
Instead, when you train for the situation and not in the situation, your pup gets to practice being calm, focused on you, and completely disengaged with that thing that is making them overreact.
In the above scenario, when you have trained for the situation, they have practiced so much what you want them to do that they look at you as you approach the other dog and trust that all those times you practiced having your pup’s attention is working in their favour. They do not need to feel fearful, insecure or threatened by the oncoming dog. Instead, they are calm, relaxed and trust in your relationship.
That is what training for the situation and not in the situation is all about.
So how do you do that? You start at home, in a safe environment, where:
- You build your pup’s confidence through fun activities and games that help them learn that the world is a safe place and that they can trust you to keep them safe.
- You help your pup learn to disengage with something that may seem scary or threatening to them so they learn that they don’t have to react to something that makes them feel unsure, insecure or fearful. Instead, they can remain calm and remain focused on you.
- You help your pup to trust in you, in your relationship, and that despite what becomes present in the environment, it’s always better to be with you.
Not only is training fun and engaging in this way, it also helps your pup to build the life skills it needs to be confident, feel safe and be calm.
What do you say? Want to try it?
Contact me and tell me what situation you find yourself in that you’d love to transform. Let me know what you’d love to be possible that you’re currently working on.
In my reply, I’ll send you two videos of two games you can play with your pup, detailing how it will help transform their brain, and your relationship, into being what you’d love it to be.
Let’s start playing and watching your dog transform!
Imagine what is possible for you and your pup!!