It is Friday afternoon and I am wrapping one more work-week. I turn my attention to my own two dogs. What can I teach them next? My inspiration in working with my own dogs might vary slightly to what I do day in and out with client’s dogs. It is true that on occasion I too have to tackle a behavior “problem” (Problem? According to whom?) from my own two dogs, but for the most part, I just continue to reinforce what I want them to continue doing; making for smooth sailing the norm instead of the exception.

As such, we spent our days playing just to have fun! The games we play all contain elements of what is important for me in our day-to-day interactions. Lots of practice of coming when called, staying in place when asked to do so, impulse control, body awareness, etc.

These training sessions can be quite structured or a bit more loose and on the go. Like anything worth doing in life and training, my own dogs are no exception, there is repetition, fear of not reaching my goals, the inertia to not work with them because it is too hot, too cold, I am feeling sick with allergies or I am just plain tired. There is no escaping drudgery and even self-doubt.

I am, however, deeply inspired by the possibility of what they can learn. By their enthusiasm in learning new stuff and even problem solve. I am deeply inspired by what other people have taught their dogs. At the center of it all, I am inspired by the notion of making their lives richer.