Do You Have What It Takes (To Be A Great Dog Owner)? – Dog Training – Dog Trainer – Behaviorist
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I work with a lot of people. I coach a lot of people to be successful with their dogs. Obviously, those who put in their best effort get the best behaved dogs.
Best Effort is a direct result of good character. Many people lack good character. No coach, parent, teacher, preacher, leader, or politician can make you into someone with the traits that will make you successful in life. You have to choose that path in order to benefit from good teaching and leadership.
When choosing members of a sports team, coaches will scour the land seeking not only talented players, but those with the character necessary to be good team players. If you read books on famous coaches… Lombardi, Wooden, etc., you’ll note that they spent considerable time seeking the right kind of people before they invested time in teaching them how to be great players. Leaders in time of war have also had the same issues… Lincoln, Churchill, Roosevelt. Generals had to be replaced until those of the top caliber were found to do the job properly. If you have ever noticed, our top performing military generals are pretty amazing guys. A lot of people have talent. We see that in Hollywood all the time. Great talent, no character… and their lives become train wrecks. Too many people focus on developing their skills, and focusing on their talents, than on first becoming good and decent people.
Weak character choices in life result in self pity, lack of self control, excuses instead of excusable reasons, sloppiness, emotionalism, laziness, a tendency to quit in tough times, an eagerness to leave and betray others when a better offer comes along, disloyalty, cheating, lying, whining, complaining, and a Machiavellian outlook on life. Weak character is a lack of self respect, and a lack of respect for others.
I can’t get very far when I’m coaching people that don’t have good character. They don’t do the lessons. Day after day, I show up and they haven’t done their homework, gotten the necessary equipment, or put in any meaningful effort. They often don’t have compassion for others. Many people will say they love their dogs, but we all know that character is what you do, not just what you say. I’ve seen them blame others for not doing the work that they should be doing, including other family members, the dog, their boss, even me. I’ve seen them fight with their spouses, kids, parents, neighbors, and so forth. Look, I’m a pretty darned good teacher. I explain, demonstrate, give the student plenty of practice and time, and do good follow up to ensure that each detail is understood and working properly. I love teaching, and I love working with people and dogs. Yet, over and over again, when I’m working with people of good character, I see amazing results. And when I’m not, the results are always less than the dog’s potential.
Do you have what it takes to make the best of your human – dog relationship? If you want the best, then you are going to have to develop your character. It’s not just about operant conditioning, classical conditioning, leashes, collars, treats, timing, and practice. It’s deeper than that. It’s going to require you making changes in how you deal with other people, how you manage yourself, and how you deal with your dog. People who aren’t committed to a pet shouldn’t have them. Top performance, leading to success (meaning here, to get your dog to behave and be enjoyable as possible), is going to involve making changes in who you are, meaning what things you value in life.