Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for Attitude!

Theme: Building Blocks of
Effective Dog Training
We are going to start out this theme talking about your ATTITUDE. 

Attitude really is everything and that is especially true in dog training :). On the surface attitude is the way you transmit your mood to others and that is vital for your training relationship with your dog. Your mood will affect their mood and nobody wants learn from a Negative Nancy. You need to be upbeat and joyful so that you AND your dog have fun!

The way you perceive training also affects your attitude. Nothing can destroy the possibility of effective training more quickly than the wrong outlook on the training process. If you approach training like a chore, it will feel like one to both you and your dog. But if you approach it like a game, you both will be eager to play whenever you have the time. Seriously, dog training should be fun!

So before you start any sort of training session (whether a formal class or just a quick session at home) remember to evaluate your thinking. Are you ready to find the silver lining and keep smiling no matter what your dog may throw at you? :)
Rookie has a goofy smile, but he sure loves
training sessions!

Attitude is the mind's paintbrush. It can color any situation. ~Bob Leslie


If you find yourself in need of an attitude adjustment, here are a few practical suggestions:

  • Believe in your dog and yourself. If you believe you can, you most definitely will. So tackle that next trick or behavior with confidence!
  • Clarify your goals. A mission provides direction and perspective, and helps you achieve better focus.
  • Allow yourself adequate time to prepare for the training session. Avoid rushing to start a session - take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, focus on the goal, and then get started. :)
  • Make a list of all the reasons why you love your dog and are grateful they are in your life. Refer back to this list when you start to get frustrated or have a bad training session. Gratitude is a stepping stone to maintaining a positive attitude!
  • Ditch the structured training session you had planned and just play with your dog. Find a way to incorporate some training into your play session so that you both keep a smile on your face. Laughter and lightheartedness are the best medicine for pretty much everything :).

With an upbeat outlook it is possible to find something positive in EVERY interaction with your dog. Check your face - are you smiling yet?




30 comments:

  1. Nice post!. Attitude is definitely a big part of dog training. Looking forward to reading more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks :). I find that attitude affects everything and it certainly sets the tone for all interactions (whether people or animals!).

      Delete
  2. An excellent post with great advice! Our dogs deserve (and work amazingly better for) a trainer with good attitude! Did you see my post about using balance exercises to adjust your attitude for training?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks :), I will have to go look your post up!

      Delete
    2. I didn't want you to think I was spamming you so I didn't leave the link this morning, but here it is: http://www.cascadiannomads.com/1/post/2013/12/your-dog-wants-you-to-take-better-care-of-yourself.html

      Delete
    3. Thanks! :) What a great post and so very true! Taking care of ourselves is very important and something that a lot people don't really think about, I'll have to try some of your exercises :).

      Delete
  3. Indeed, attitude and lots of patience... I watched many you tube videos about training dogs... it helped a lot in teaching my dog the tricks :)
    looking forward to read more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Youtube is a great resource for training videos! And yes, patience is extremely important as well :). Lots of patience!

      Delete
  4. You are so right that attitude is critical. I know that my Jack reads me like a book and when my stress goes up so does his. I love the idea of making a lost of things you love about your dog - such a positive approach.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes I will pick a reason I love my dog and use that as a mantra when we are having an especially tough day together. I usually find myself with a smile on my face eventually :).

      Delete
  5. These are great tips! I know that when I started to get frustrated during training things just get harder, so I try to stay calm and positive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And trying to take things less seriously always helps me stay on top of my frustration. I mean the world isn't going to end just because the dog can't learn to sit :). Sometimes that perspective is helpful LOL.

      Delete
  6. Great tips! I have two dogs now that I spent a TON of time training them, and it certainly paid off. I do remember making the sessions fun was key to their success and my survival:) www.thingsmymothertaught.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Fun is always necessary (check back for my F day LOL). Time is also a crucial element and something we tend to rush these days.

      Delete
  7. Hmm... these could apply to humans too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most everything in dog training can apply to humans ;)

      Delete
  8. Actually yes I was smiling when I got to the end. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Just thinking about playing with my dog makes me smile :)

      Delete
  9. Great advice! A positive attitude can help you through almost any situation in life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true - it certainly applies to more than just dog training :).

      Delete
  10. This is AWESOME! I love all the tips and starting with attitude is perfect - no progress can be made if training is done with a bad attitude. Love, love, love this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! :) Cultivating a positive attitude can be hard at first but the more you practice the easier it gets. I guess it's same with most things that are practiced LOL. It's human training within dog training ;)

      Delete
  11. Hello, I picked your name at random from the AtoZ list and really enjoyed your post. I am feeling very sad for the dog next door because it is a little puppy and they have just paved over the garden, where is the fun in that for their puppy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, it doesn't sound like much fun :(. Grass is wonderful for playing in!

      Delete
  12. Oh I love dogs and your post is wonderful - so true too. Do you know there are two more ladies blogging about dogs for the challenge - Guile Castillo and Carol Graham. Would be nice if you all connected. I'll be back again.

    Corinne Rodrigues
    Proud to be Arlee's Ambassador:AtoZ Challenge
    Everyday Gyaan and From 7Eight

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am following Guile's blog but not sure on Carol's. Thanks for stopping by!! :)

      Delete
    2. Here's Carol's blog, Erin. http://batteredhope.blogspot.in/

      Delete
    3. Thank you! I am going to check that out now :)

      Delete
  13. I don't have a dog but attitude is important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've found that attitude is always important but especially so when working with another being (whether human or animal). It's amazing what a smile can do for the world :).

      Delete