The Zen of Dog Training

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In addition to loads of walking around with my new Seeing Eye dog (more info on this dog coming soon…when I’m ready), we also attend nightly lectures.

A few days ago, the lecture was on corrections and obedience. The trainer shared this quote which isn’t just applicable to dog training: “If you correct your dog more than two seconds after a behavior, you are correcting a different behavior.”

Dogs are so much in the present moment. Yes, of course they can learn, but that learning has to be at a level of a dog’s comprehension. Wait an extra few seconds after a dog say, cuts a corner a little too short, and you’ve missed the opportunity to learn. Then, you just end up incorrectly trying to right a different wrong.

Dogs primarily care about the right here and now. If my dog has a little slip up while walking down a block (like, let’s say the dog gets distracted by a squirrel), I have to correct that behavior immediately…then let it go. Carrying a grudge, especially towards a dog, does no good.

Really, as I try to be mindfully present during this training, I’m learning a lot from my dog. Staying in the moment, taking things as they come instead of being anxious, correcting what is wrong and then moving along aren’t just good things to do with dogs, they are good for all of us to keep in mind.

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