I have HAD IT with this dog!
I can’t believe you just did that!
Again? Really? AGAIN?!
That’s IT! NO MORE!!!!
I — CAN’T — STAND — IT — ANYMORE!!!!!
Sound familiar? Oh yeah. Haven’t we all been there and done that? Lost all patience and ______. And of course felt bad later.
There is a better way, and we here at TWiKi are here to provide it. Here you go:
Three steps to end frustration:
• SEPARATE. That is, yourself from your dog. Now. Immediately. Put a door, babygate, fence, crate, leash between the two of you so you can cool off. Ignore any barking, whining, jumping, etc.
• SIGH. That is, breathe. Deeply. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth. Close your eyes and go to your happy place.
• STRATEGIZE. That is, plan your next action. Decide exactly what you need to do to approach the exercise in a different way so you will not get the same reaction from your dog that led you to the frustration. Change what you do and your dog will change what s/he does. If you don’t change…well, you know what Einstein said about that (paraphrasing: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.).
Training truths to tell yourself:
• Rome wasn’t built in a day. S/he’s been doing the “wrong” behavior a lot longer than the “right” behavior.
• S/he isn’t doing this to drive me crazy.
• Not human, not human, not human.
• Not a robot. Everyone makes mistakes.
• It’s me, not him/her.
• Practice makes progress.
• It’s supposed to be fun! SMILE!!!
Action items for common problems
• Buy my book. Shameless plug I know, but truthfully, my first book, Reverse Dog Training: A Fresh Perspective for Solving Common Problems, hits a lot of the most common dog issues and gives you an explanation of why what you are doing isn’t working, plus do’s and don’ts that will help you fix those problems for good. Only $12! Also available at local libraries (Cleveland area).
• Visit the site of my favorite trainer, Patricia McConnell. This lady is so prolific; she has books, ebooks, DVDs, articles, events, etc. etc. You can find just about anything dog behavior-wise on her site. I consider her signature work, The Other End of the Leash, to be hands-down the best dog training book ever written.
Stay tuned for more frustration help!
Do you have any tips to share? Please do so below!