When you have true connection you have a dog that is your companion. Connection is a relationship in which a person, thing or idea is linked or associated with something else.
All dog owners should find a connection with their dogs. Dog training is more than teaching your dog commands such as sit, down, stay, come, heel. It is always good to have the commands and behaviors, but if you dont use them in a way that there is a connection the training does not transfer. For example if I connect sit to the environment of someone being at the door then when the door bell rings the dog makes the connection to sit.
What does it mean to have true connection with your dog. We have to be linked in a way that your dog is looking to you for information. You must be honest and not manipulate our dogs and the tasks we are requesting. We must train with association so the connection to training has purpose and they have a job to do. Things you mush have to have true connection with your dog is Communication and your training must be epic. Let’s look deeper into those two words and how they relate to dog training.
Communication is an act or instance of transmitting a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behaviors. A technique for expressing ideas effectively. Two way process of reaching mutual understanding in which participants not only exchange information, news, ideas and feelings but also create and share meaning. In general communication is a means of connecting people or places. If you have effective communication with your dog it will create and share meaning therefor having a connection through communication (training). Communication is not a one-way conversation. When we can communicate effectively and properly with our dogs through words and more importantly through our behaviors and our actions our dog will see the purpose and meaning and will respond with the appropriate behavior. If we can stop trying to be so controlling and have proper communication, our dogs will give clear communication back. We tend to control and do everything and not trust what our dog is saying back to us.
Dog training must be epic meaning noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition usually centered upon a hero in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style, heroic, majestic, impressively great of usually great size or extent. it is epic when a dog training journey turns into a life long connections. people ask all of the time how can you get things from my dog that I can not? Or wow my dog is so different and so much better since they stayed with you. I like to believe a dog trainer is epic in a dogs life, we never stop being in the moment, we think and respond through the dog. Therefor we get to become the hero. Our events are real and significant to the dog. We make every moment of training heroic, majestic and impressively great!
The skills your dog should have to have true connection are that they follow you everywhere in the house in the yard in the environment. Do you see that person and their dog is just following them. Yep that is connection, that is not “luck” that is a true and honest connection that the owner and the dog has. A True connection your dog will follow you when off leash and out hiking or in a crazy environment such as a dog park or horse show. Your dog keeps their eye on you waiting for what is next and what roll they will play in this journey. Does your dog have true eye contact? not just looking for the food but can truly look into your eyes and ask a question? Will your dog just settle by you when you stop to have coffee or stop to sit and watch and event? They know that it is time to rest and catch up before we head out on our next journey.
I hear all of the time that people get annoyed that their dog is following them why cant the just lay there? I am just getting a drink, they dont know that. All they know is you are moving and they dont want to loose their position in the family. The more we turn our dogs away the more we break down the connection between us and our dogs. You should always bask in the moment of having your dog by your side all of the time.
Stop sending our dogs away from us and asking them to join another family. Create the skills of connection so that you become epic instead of the dog at the dog park or the person that comes to visit. Be the hero, be the leader, be the person they want to be with all of the time because you are safe, fun, a source of food and water, a source of life of being in the moment with them.
How to teach follow me: Your dog should be on a leash all of the time you are in their environment. The only time your dog should not be on a leash and attached to you would be if they are in their crate or outside unattended without you. If you go go outside to be with them they should be on a leash with you.
Why you should wonder? It teaches your dog to follow you through distractions and to connect to you instead of going to join another family. To wander you go the opposite direction from which your dogs wants to go. Do not go back and forth, go in different directions other than where your dog is pulling you.
Eye contact is a way for your dog to ask you a question, look for an answer, or give you information. You should always acknowledge the eye contact and be in the moment and talk with your dog when they are there. Let your dog see you smile and let your dog work for you in that moment. They see your eyes and they see happiness and joy when they give the right answer.
Come settle by me. That means they like to be with you and that the trust you will keep them safe while they rest. Even in your own yard your dog should want to come be by you unless you are out in the sun and they can be with you but in the shade. settle because I settle. We are always wanting our dog to go play and go away from us while we bask in the shade or work in the yard. It is not their natural instinct to go off by themselves, they want to be with the family and a part of what we are doing so alloy that and be in the moment with them, stop sending them away.