philosophy & foundation for teaching

Philosophy

 

Each of us has a story that extends beneath our surface.

We’re complex and nuanced. We have a hardwired survival mode, instincts, a desire to seek what brings us joy and safety, while steering clear and avoiding what we precieve as dangerous or scary. This is innate and our behaviour reflects these fundatmental truths.

The same holds true for our dogs and our dog’s behaviour.

As much more than pets, our companions need to be understood from the inside out. Our dog’s behaviour is information for us. Their natural way to communicate and convey how they’re feeling. If a dog feels unsafe or unheard, their behaviour will grow into bigger behaviours/emotional expression (or in some cases lead to ‘shut down’ behaviours). These bigger moments in their communication are symptoms of being misunderstood, unmet needs and/or indicators of areas in our relationship that don’t have a solid foundation (simply through misunderstanding). In addition, there may be internal factors to consider. These aren’t about ‘training’ but rather about understanding who our dog is/what they’re telling us through their behaviour. All behaviour (including our own) serves a function. No behaviour “just happens”. Once we consider this, we can see things differently.

This leads to understanding, where we find compassion, empathy, connect and relate. Our curiosity leads the way.

As a Certified L.E.G.S. Family Dog Mediator, my practice involves seeing the whole of WHO each dog is. To learn the WHY of a dog’s behaviour, we must consider their L.E.G.S….

  • LEARNING: an animals experience & education in life
  • ENVIRONMENT: the external conditions of an animal’s world
  • GENETICS: the DNA that designed the animal inside and out
  • SELF: the internal conditions of an animal (health, age, sex, personality, etc)

It’s in this model that mutual wellness in relationship grows.

We are much more alike on the inside, than we are different on the outside.

Foundation for Teaching

All lessons focus on three core essentials – understanding body language, relationship building, and learning practical life skills.

Facilitating genuine partnership development is the goal. We want your pup/dog to look to you for guidance, knowing they are safe, and they can always “bank on you” to have their back. TEAMMATES!

Whether you’re just beginning your relationship journey or seeking to strengthen your current relationship, our mindset is the key to successful outcomes.

First, we must begin with reasonable expectations.

We begin where our dog is at (including age/stage of life, all past learning, trauma, genetics, environment, etc.) and recognize that learning is not linear or static. This modern human world can be, and most often is, overwhelming for our pups/dogs to ‘make sense of’. Without a deep understanding of how to read our dog’s communication, we can regularily (& unintentionally) inhibit much of their natural ways to sort through and process their experiences – which is what most often leads to what we then call ‘behaviour problems’.

It’s our job to learn more about them, what they’re communicating, how best to be there for guidance & support them so you can thrive as a team! Learning how to navigate challenges they may be experiencing, advocate for them, and meet their genetic/instinctual needs. Like all relationships, it takes time, patience, curiosity, understanding, compassion, and practice.

Learning for anyone is best when it’s fun! The same is true for our dogs. Play is proven to provide greater results in learning outcomes and promotes a healthy relationship. So we play ‘training’ games – or as I prefer to call them – relationship games! We also take the time to notice how your dog processes their experiences and support them in taking the time they need – this strengthens and supports the development of healthy checks and balances, within our pup/dog’s ‘inside world’ and builds trust in your relationship.

Your pup/dog is learning every moment they’re awake. Taking what you learn and putting it to practice each day is key for developing flow (for you both!). This is truly what develops a deeper connection with positive team outcomes.

Wellness in companionship.

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