Remember the Good Times

My Jack Russel Terrier, Max passed away three months ago. It’s hard to live with an emptiness in my heart … the pain feels worse during this COVID time. I try to remember the happy things Max and I did together. One of the happiest times we spent together was driving out to the country every week to take our agility lessons. Watch a video of Max running an almost perfect course. It may look easy to the person watching this video, but it took years of practice and working together as a TEAM for us to get to this point.

Here are some tips I learned in Max and my agility classes. I hope you will agree that these handling skills can be readily transferred to the people in your life. In the end, I think that we can all become better leaders if we follow these tips.

Dog Training 101

Be clear and specific. Your voice should be clear and upbeat so your dog can understand you, and don’t forget to keep a smile on your face.

Be consistent. It will confuse the dog when you don’t use the same words.

Keep it simple. Use only one command at a time. Say “Sit down” instead of “Sit there, wait and come here.” 

Be gentle and kind. Let your dog know that you are trying very hard to understand their point of view.

Gain loyalty by being fair. Dogs notice if you are not fair. Be compassionate and truthful. Do not use physical violence. Instead, show them respect.

Be confident. When giving dogs a command, show confidence in your body language, tone of voice, and facial expression. 

Give feedback.  If you don’t get the appropriate response, give feedback immediately. Be patient and keep teaching until you get the response you’re looking for.

Praise all the time. When you get a correct response, praise immediately and give a small tidbit of his favorite treat. Yes, do this every time!

Positive ending. Never finish your training time on a negative note, instead, make sure that it ends with one positive behavior performed by your dog. Praise by saying “Yay, good job!” Give ample treats and a slow pet on their head.

Now, does these sound any different than how we should treat the people in our lives? Our relationships with the people we care about will improve if we apply these age-old dog training methods in our daily lives. I guarantee that you will see an improvement in your relationships with co-workers, friends, and family members!

Comments

Renae
Reply

Kay, I am so sorry about Max. My beloved kitty Pepe passed away 3 years ago, and I am still so sad, especially when Facebook shows me videos of his adorable antics. We had a painting made of him and his brother who departed a year earlier. I’m glad we did.

I know that getting more kitties would help considerably, but I’ve been holding off on doing so because I want to travel, and hate leaving them for any length of time.

Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way.

–Renae

KayHirai
Reply

Hi Renae, Thank you for leaving your thoughts. I do know that kitty owners are very passionate about their fur babies too. I hope a time will come when you will adopt a special kitty for yourself.

Karan Karla Aron
Reply

This is a wonderful post! I love that video and seeing you and your beloved Max training and having so much fun together. That was awesome. Really good message for us all.

KayHirai
Reply

Hi Karla, He had a lot of social problems due to his poor upbringing from his breeder. I really tried to see what his skills were and what he enjoyed doing. Very much like how we (artists) are trying to find out about our unique niche. He was very smart and competitive so I encouraged him to have fun running agility courses.

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