I love being a dog trainer. I get emotional with my students when we have a breakthrough.
I recently shared with a dear friend of mine, that I feel my success comes from my personal life experience. I know what it’s like to be a predator that has been preyed upon. Dogs are predators. Their eyes are set in front of their skulls. So are humans. Prey animals, Horses, chickens, goats etc. have their eyes on the sides of their skulls. I was preyed upon in my adolescence. I know the journey it has taken, the breakthroughs one must make, and the fears that have to be faced while also setting yourself up for success.
Now imagine a predator raised by predators that are higher on the food chain than they are. These upper rung predators introduce them to unnatural sights, (sidewalks and wood floors) sounds (cars honking, sirens in the distance) and smells (oil, shampoo, even kibble). When the lower predator sees other lower predators, instinctual alarms go off, they may not understand what to do with them. They may bark, whimper or lunge. They may be fearful or agitated and frustrated. It’s not far fetched to believe they may feel like predators being preyed upon by the all the unnatural things around them.
So when a client sends me an anxiety case, a fear based aggressive dog, or a big mouth, low self esteem, hot head, I read their mail fast. As a dog trainer I have the hard talks with dogs about how to change their minds and life. Talks most owners fear will ruin their relationship. Talks that we as humans don’t even want to have with ourselves. Talks that require clear communication, understanding and good timing. I just do it through communication familiar to the dog. As a result, I also get to watch the “magic” of their breakthroughs and transformations.
No one has a job as awesome as mine.