Performance and self image are always equal. You will only do as good as you expect to do. What you imagine in your head is what you are going to get. You will never do better, though it is possible to do worse!
You hold the key to your success. In your head you can only have one type of thought – and those are positive thoughts or negative thoughts. You can only have one at a time- which puts the idea into your consciousness.
Whatever you think, is what you will picture, which is what your body language and energy will get for you. You can imagine your dog coming back perfectly, as he does in training, or you can imagine him completely ignoring you and playing with the other dog.
If you imagine the latter, this is going to show in your voice, your energy, and your body language when you call him back. If you think he won`t come back, you are right- he most likely won`t. But if you believe he will – you at least will do your part in the bargain of making that happen.
Take action and control in what you picture. If you feel a negative thought coming, shove it away, and picture what you do want to happen. In the case above, I picture my dog flying back to me. He has a thousand times before, I imagine he will a thousand times again. This helps me emit the right energy and voice to him. Now, I of course I have done my training, and my
thousand successes are real and not imaginary. He has made about five errors, and I have let those go, and only focus on his thousand successes.
My dog’s consistent performance on his behaviours has given me mental strength. This can be broken down into concentration, controlling my attitude, staying motivated, managing pressure of when a situation is really dicey, thinking right, and controlling my energy. Now for all of my clients reading this with their aggressive dogs, how many of those can you consistently master? Once you have mastered them all, consistently, you have mastered mental strength.
For myself as a competitor, my motto was always to try harder. We are taught that rewards come to those that try hard. But that isn’t necessarily true. We need to not try harder and be strong in our practise. We need to try softer, not harder.
When we try too hard we force it. We loose the flow, and the relationship that is so necessary when training our dogs. It is the inner peace of mental strength that will get you your goal. Inner calmness will bring you strength. The anger, frustration and disappointment come from knowing that our dogs can behave better. But when we want it the most it means we are incapable of performing well and being the people that our dogs need us to be.
So no more forcing. Desperation is not the same as leadership. Aim for the inner calm, and while you aim for it, concentrate, control your attitude, control your energy, think right, manage the pressure of the impending challenge and stay motivated. If your training is in place, this is now the next step to attaining your goal with your dog.
Put 100% effort into your job. Trying harder can make you trip over yourself. Try softer instead.
We handlers also tend to worry about who or what our next challenge is. Worry about yourself- you are your own worst critic, and you will impede your success much more than anyone else will. If you have dog-issues, you are much more likely to make your dog react than the chocolate Labrador puppy that comes flying into your dog’s face. So worry about you – worry about your job, and work on acquiring your mental strength which is something that you can control. You cannot control your outside environment, and neither do you need to. You have trained for that. Instead you need to stay in the moment, and put 100% effort into your job. You should barely even notice your challenge as your thoughts and job should be so focused on what you are doing.
Stay in the moment, and that will bring you the fun back as well.
When I feel right both my dog and I perform right, and when I don´t, we don’t!
Succeeding is the result of creating a particular atmosphere within yourself. Those who can consistently create this atmosphere or climate within themselves will consistently succeed. If you feel yourself continuing to struggle with your dog and certain behaviours, and you know you have done your training, quit trying harder and quit looking outwards. Instead, try softer, and still your mind and halt your breath. Alter your inner environment and be pleased by the affects on your dog.
Happy Training Everyone,
The Naughty Dogge is a dog training school located in Victoria, BC. We truly are dog-trainers and competitors, bringing out the best in any dog, regardless of breed and issues. That means we teach competitive agility, Freestyle Dancing, Competition Obedience, Retrain Dog Aggressive Dogs, Teach Puppy Classes and Pet Dogs to be perfect citizens, and work with behaviour problems. There is probably not an issue that we havn´t retrained! This newsletter is copyright to Monique Anstee, February 2010 and may be reprinted with full credit given to Monique Anstee at firstname.lastname@example.org You can contact us at 250.590.2664