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Creating Emotional Stability

Building confidence in the young or anxious dog

In our training classes I help owners construct new behaviour rather than suppress unwanted behaviour. I focus the training on teaching dogs what to do. All of this is built from the foundation of consistency

Consistency is one of the most important factors in achieving success in any area of life.

Being consistent in your dog training can make all the difference, especially when working with adolescent or anxious dogs that are easily overwhelmed.

From my experience here are the top reasons why consistency in our dog training is key:

  • Builds Momentum: Consistency builds momentum, which helps you to achieve your goals and overcome obstacles. When you consistently work towards a goal, you create a habit that propels you forward. This habit becomes a part of your routine, and you're more likely to stick with it long-term. Dogs feel more confident around consistent routines.

  • Increases Credibility: Consistency increases your credibility and reliability. When you consistently show up and deliver on your promises, your dog can trust you more.

  • Improves Performance: Consistency improves your dog’s performance by helping them to develop skills and behaviours. When you and your dog consistently practice and work on a skill, you both become better at it over time.

  • Improves Planning: Consistency also helps you to identify areas where you need to improve and make adjustments to your approach.

Emotional Stability

There is a tendency to think of emotional stability as always being a state of calm but is this accurate? Can you predict a situation where you are expectantly excited - Christmas, birthday, holiday, a seminar, a night out, the January sales, a new book or film? How about a situation where you are appropriately anxious or unsure - dentist, waiting for results, a difficult interview? What about different personality types and life experiences - is emotional stability for one person, the same as emotional stability for another? Is it realistic to expect all dogs and people to respond to the same events in the same way?

Being consistent helps your dog become ready to learn. A dog that is ready to learn is able to focus and engage without stress. A dog that is ready to learn can take a piece of food and then turn back to us, without prompting, to ask whether there is any more.

In class we build cue seeking behaviour towards us by playing a game that I call the 'focus game'. Quite simply a piece of food is thrown out for the dog to eat, once the food is eaten, the dog returns their focus towards the owner and that behaviour is reinforced with another piece of food.

I call this game the 'focus game', not because it builds focus on the handler but because it tells me where the dog needs to place their focus. If the dog cannot even follow the piece to the floor, then that dog is telling me they are struggling to cope within the class environment and I need to make changes. If the dog eats but then watches the other dogs, then I have information that this is the reinforcing event for the dog. If the dog eats and then returns their focus to the owner in a continuous loop of behaviour, then I have information that the dog is comfortable within this environment and is 'ready to train'.

Only once the dogs are demonstrating that they are able to learn and ready to train will teaching begin.

Watch the videos here:

Ready to train

Can I help?

Think your dog might be struggling with their emotions, a 1:1 session would give us time to talk about what is happening and put some tailored strategies into place. work-with-me

Not sure if a 1:1 is for you, get in touch to discuss further

Confidence building classes now available

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