Training

3 minutes reading time (561 words)

The dog lady speaks out about dog training

No, animal communication is not magic; but when I make the right connection with a dog, it does feel like a mystical experience.  What I do as an animal behavior consultant is so much more than what has always been referred to as dog training; it needs a new name. That is why I call this part of my dog training programs “Paw Reading”.

The Dog Lady, Inc. is dedicated to holistic dog training. As a professional dog trainer, I advocate dog obedience training that is built around the whole dog and his normal environment. “Paw Reading” is the name I have chosen for this part of the process. I take a path to achieve the optimal human-canine relationship for you and your dog by also training you.

In the last few decades biologists and animal behaviorists have taken a more open and nuanced view of animal behavior. Because they used to be unable to measure emotions in animals, science did not recognize animals’ emotional states. Through new technologies such as brain imagining and genetic study, animal behaviorists now can look further than ever  look into the sensory world of animals – and dog owners can learn about how to modify dog behavior as a result.  After years of successful field studies, it is accepted that the primal emotions such as fear, aggression, and the maternal love that bonds a mother to a child are important tools for survival in the wild. Animals must learn early that their survival depends on continually adapting their behavior to account for changes in their environment.  All of us who have lived and worked with animals has also learned, similarly, that the experience of working with animals changes us, too.

This back-and-forth relationship of learning between species has allowed us to enter a new phase of understanding and treating animals better. A different picture of animals is emerging. We are beginning to open our minds and hearts and appreciate their world and more specifically, who they are. Giving equally is causing the boundaries between animals and humans to blur. And now, complex emotions such as loyalty, grief and empathy are being recognized and shared between species.

We know the family unit is important for learning social and life skills. Mammals are not programmed to know about the world at birth, they must learn.  Animals receive both discipline and reassurance from their family in the wild. Domesticated pets also need this guidance from their human families.  We do this in part with dogs in the form of dog training and behavior modification. But, an important part is also owner training.

What The Dog Lady, Inc. is doing is not new to behavior specialists and the leaders in the field of animal biology and behavior studies. What is new is that we are trying to find a practical way to bring these discoveries into the everyday world of dog training.  This happens every time a dog is trained and every time a dog owner is educated.

As we continue to study social relationships and interactions of all mammals the differences between animals and humans is becoming far less one of kind and more one of degree. And, I believe that if we listen they (the animals) will tell us what they need. Sometimes they even tell us what we need.

I am listening to what the animals have to say!

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