Did you know that January is national train your dog month? But this article is FAR more than about dogs and training.
While other online articles you may find pertain to traditional tips for training, here you will find extra-ordinary tips that can apply to any animal you want to “train.”
When I was around 12, I trained my collie to do many different behaviors. When I was 24, I raised my now 29 year old mare from a yearling and started her riding myself. When I worked at the zoo, I supervised the training of a vast variety of animals. Zookeepers had to provide detailed training plans for any animal they wanted to work with.
There really is an additional level that most people aren’t aware of. We like to call this the Heart & Soul Approach.
First off, the animals know so much more than most people realize, and we need “training” as much as they do. But instead of using the word “train”, which is not as bad as saying “break” as in “break a horse to ride”, how about we use the word “partnership” to reflect the relationship we want with animals?
While we do have some students that are animal trainers, the majority of animal trainers in the world are very left brained and do not see the animal from a WHOLE approach – body, mind and spirit. AND this makes a WORLD of difference. And this makes a difference in how pet parents work with their own animals. If you are a regular reader of our articles, you know far more than the average pet parent.
Here is how the animals truly want to be “trained” and have a partnership with you, on a heart and soul level:
- Think of all animals as sentient beings that can think, feel and reason, just like you. Let this be your mindset. There is so much depth to their souls than what most people realize.
- View animals as equals among themselves AND equal partners with you. Be grounded in this belief. Animals can tell when people think otherwise.
- Use natural training tools such as the gentle leader face collar that works on acupressure points or the front clip harness that helps prevent pulling. When an animal pulls on a leash on a regular collar or harness, this can result in muscle strains and bones out of alignment, Keep in mind that retractable leashes can actually jerk your animal’s neck and also cause these problems. Animal chiropractors see this frequently.
- Tell an animal out loud what you want them to do, and picture it clearly in your mind. Focus on what you want to manifest, not on what you don’t want to see happen. When your words and thoughts turn to the negative, you can confuse your animal, not to mention, make the situation even more undesirable.
- While verbal praise is great, when you can offer a desirable reward to an animal when they behave as you want them to, you can have more positive results. Determine what the animal would like as the reward. For instance, are they food motivated? If so, keep in mind that giving them the same treats as you normally do doesn’t make working with them extra-special. It’s ideal to have a specific treat you use just for training. Perhaps your animal is more attention seeking. If so, one on one time, an extra walk, a longer walk, etc. may be just what they want.
- Ideally, tell the animal out loud what the reward will be for the desirable behavior. Make sure you follow through with the positive reward so that your animal gets reinforced for the good behavior and builds their trust in you. Keep reminding them of the desired behavior and reward.
- Does your animal enjoy the activities you are doing with them? Maybe you have trained your dog to do a sport like agility. Or maybe you show your horse. Perhaps you are trying to do something with your cat. Are they enjoying it? Or are there many challenges that keep happening? Some pet parents try to find something they can do with their animal but sometimes, the animal doesn’t seem focused or happy. Or maybe they get injured or ill and you wonder why. While many things affect the health of an animal, know that emotions also play an important role in their physical well-being. The activity may make us happy, but it may not thrill our animals. When an animal is made to do something they really don’t want to be doing, this can lead you astray from a beautiful heart and soul relationship.
- While speaking out loud to your animal is fantastic and a big step forward in the partnership, there is something extra-special you can do that takes things to a whole other level. If you have ever wondered why your animal behaves like they do, how they are feeling or what they really want to do or from you, there is a way to find out. It is called animal communication, where you connect heart to heart, and talk mind to mind. Yes, you can know what they are thinking because they will tell you. To us, and many who have experienced this for themselves, this is life changing and the secret to a profound relationship with animals – and even all of life.
So, whether you train your own animals, train animals professionally, or just want to have a deeper partnership with animals, take these tips to heart and soul. Know that you can make a big difference in the lives of animals when you view training from their heart and soul.
If you are ready to have a heart and soul partnership with all animals, click here
for our in person class in Livingston, MT on February 2nd or click here
to consider our animal communication teleclass on February 9th (registration is due by Feb. 1st)
Heart & Soul Training Blessings!
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