Every day, a sea of decisions stretches before us.
Some are small and unimportant, but others have a larger impact on our lives – for example, ‘Who should I vote for?’; ‘Should I try the latest diet craze?’; or ‘Will this weeks lottery make me a millionaire?’
Today, I wanted to share 5 tips to start getting your dog to listen to you, for you to be able to improve your current situation with them, and how you can use critical thinking to be able to help you to turn this ignorance around.
We’re bombarded with so many decisions each day that it really can be impossible to make a perfect choice every time.
But, there are many ways to improve your chances and one particularly effective technique is to first learn more about why they aren’t listening to you. This part might sting a bit…
One thing I use for this is critical thinking.
This is a way of approaching a situation that we might automatically presume as how things are, but actually when we look a little closer, this method allows us to carefully deconstruct the whole situation, reveal its hidden issues such as bias and manipulation and make the best decision from the real and honest answers we find there.
If the critical part sounds negative, that’s because, in a way, it is.
Rather than choosing an answer because it ‘feels right’ or ‘sounds good’, we can actually use critical thinking, to reveal the real answers to the things we need to focus on for our improvement.
When you subject all available options to scrutiny and skepticism you’ll eliminate everything but the most useful and reliable information that you need.
And so when you approach the question ‘How do I get my dog to listen to me’ lets take a look at some of the true answers that I see come up all of time and uncover the depths of the reality a lot of people face.
So, now we’ve uncovered more about identifying and uncovering more about the real question we’re asking, let’s look at some further suggestions you can think further on, to conclude your own results.
1: Formulate your question and set your goals. In other words, know what you’re looking for.
Now, this isn’t always as straightforward as it sounds though. For example, if you’re deciding whether to fix your dog from pulling on the lead, your reasons for doing so may be obscured by other factors.
Things such as expecting too much, too soon, or completely missing that the problem has nothing to do with the lead training at all.
However, if you approach the situation with a clear view of what you’re actually trying to accomplish by training, whether that’s where you want them to walk by your side or having more fun and energy together when they’re off the lead.
That’ll equip you to sift through this information critically, find what you’re looking for, and decide whether the tasks you’re wanting can be achieved and what you’ll need to do to achieve it that will suits your needs.
2: Start as you mean to go on. There’s soon going to be lots of New Year, New Me floating around out there, but let’s be clear about how you work best to ensure you set yourself up for as much success as you possible can.
I know that when I start building a new habit, it’s more beneficial for me to do a little bit of it every single day and track it until it’s reliable. Providing I schedule it in and ensure I do at least 30 seconds (that’s all my target is) of that activity every day. I have a much higher chance of success.
Where I fall flat is, if when I take a day off or perhaps I break my routine by taking a holiday for example.
Then it can take me a good couple of days, sometimes weeks to pull myself back together and get back into it.
So, having a clear idea of how you work best is hugely relevant for getting your dog to listen to you.
Just think… If you work best when there is less around you to worry about for example, I bet your dog will too.
3: Apply the information you gain — even if it’s uncomfortable.
Facing a decision that feels uncomfortable?
I want you to ask yourself:
‘What emotional concepts are at work here?’
‘What assumptions exist?’
‘Is my interpretation of the information logically sound?’
For example, in a lesson that pushes you out of your comfort zone you should consider:
‘What is shaping my concern to this situation?’
‘Do I assume the place of temporary discomfort will be beneficial to avoid more long lasting discomfort?”
‘Is it logical to assume I’ll get the same results as them or do I need a slightly different approach?’
Let’s take controlling your dog off the lead for example.
It’s a bit far fetched to presume every dog who’s off the lead will come back to you for a piece of food. That’s a bit like saying, every women enjoys watching hot male Spanish waiters, covered in baby oil…. oh wait I wandered off there.
What I’m getting at is, not everyone’s preferences are the same.
And what’s to say that maybe the dogs preference is indeed food in any form… until a pheasant scent comes along.
Then the food can go in the bin for all they care.
4: Keep. It. Simple and Consider the Implications. Imagine it’s training time and you’ve got your information to go at and there’s at least 20 different components to work out and train, which one are you going to start with?
Ok, got it?
…. Are you sure that’s the right one to start with, or would you be better looking at one of the others first?
Ok cool. Let’s do this!
Oh wait, but what if you were better off just double checking and seeing if it would be less time consuming for you to teach your dog to do the other thing first, then come back to this thing once that’s more reliable? Or should you just chance it and see?
What did she say again? Where do you hold the treat? What words did she use?
Overwhelm can be like a 20-foot wave crashing into you, that becomes too great for you to manage alone.
And unfortunately, it’s one of the leading factors that make people fail.
So, if you ever feel like you’re getting overwhelmed by all of the information out there and what you have to do to get to your goal, just step back for a second, take a breath and put one foot in front of the other
It’s why I created this to help resolve some of that overwhelm for owners, and instead to let me, the professional, take the stress out of the decision making and make things easier for you
Anything that takes your fancy on there, has been designed to support you and your dog in succeeding.
IF you’re committed, hard working and ready for change, come and join us on the loose lead walking or off lead control training courses which start on January 5th, 5pm or 6:30pm
Finally the fifth way to get your dog to listen to you.
5: Listen to them. Ask yourself why your dog isn’t listening to you, and you’ll probably find you’re not really listening to them either.
So often owners want help with this, and one of the first things I notice is that the dog is in fact paying attention to them, it’s just that it’s been missed several times over, unnecessary and additional pressure applied in all of the wrong places and the communication between the two is in tatters and hanging on by a thread.
If you begin to explore the full spectrum of possibilities out there, when you begin to open your mind to new viewpoints and lifestyles it might explain why some of the things you’ve been trying haven’t seemed to work so well for you,, so far.
Hopefully this blog will allow you to explore alternatives, evaluate your own choices, and ultimately help you make more informed decisions.
This five-step process is just one tool, and it certainly won’t eradicate difficult decisions from your lives. But, it can help you to increase the number of positive choices you and your dog can make together once you open your mind up.
Critical thinking can really give you the tools to sift through a sea of information and find what you’re looking for, but more than like, find what you’re not looking for, so you can resolve it.
IF you’re ready too.
Because not everyone can handle this level of responsibility.
And, if enough of you use it, it has the power to make the world a more reasonable and peaceful place for all species involved.
We’ll be here, doing just that, on January 5th on both of our training courses.