As a dog trainer, one of the main issues that I find my clients dealing with is frustration. A lot of the time, a client is already frustrated when they contact me to talk about the issues they are having with their dog or dogs. Before I start to work with the dog, my first goal is to deal with the owner’s frustration.
The first thing I tell them to do is “CALM DOWN”!!! The 2nd thing I tell them is “BE PATIENT”!!! This may sound easy, but when a person has been dealing with a dog that’s been jumping on them for months, or peeing everywhere in the house, it’s easier said than done!
I deal with this in a couple of ways. I walk them through deep breathing exercises. Deep breathing automatically creates a rhythm that is calming and freeing. The other method I use is visualization. I have the owner visualize the desirable behavior as if it has already happened. This process gets them in a positive mood and sets both the owner and the dog up for success during the training class.
Staying calm is especially important when Loose Leash Walking. The leash should always be held loosely with the arms down. Never show frustration if the dog pulls. Loose Leash Walking practice allows the owner to work on, not just being calm, but also being patient. I explain to them that stress and frustration travels down the leash, so being calm when they work with their dog is of the utmost importance.
So remember, before you start a training session with your dog, get into a calm mood. This will ensure that both you and your dog are calm and stress free, and you are both ready for a successful lesson.