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  • Writer's pictureCheryl Hughes - Ignite Your Confidence

Why I quit being a dog trainer...

I think it is fairly common knowledge now that people understand that their energy impacts their animals. Our pets react to our feelings. It is heartwarming when you have had a bad day, or are feeling sad that your pet wants to comfort you. Or when you are doing something fun, and both enjoying every moment of an activity. But what happens when your dog has feelings of their own?

I never did like the common saying, “There are no bad dogs, only bad owners.” I prefer to not even use the term “owner” anymore, but aside from that, animals can come with their own baggage. We don’t always create conditions that bring out unwanted behaviors.

However, no matter how calm we may be, it can be human nature to react to “negative” behavior in others, even when our intention is to help. In wanting to change it, we try to control, fix, or get bigger and louder to stop whatever it is that we don’t want to see in others. Wanting conditions of people, places or things to change so we feel better, actually prevents us from being in control of our feelings. So what do we do?

Thinking creates feelings, and feelings create behaviors in all beings. This goes on all day, every day. We are constantly thinking, feeling and acting on those feelings. They not only impact us, but all of those around us. If your animal is acting fearful and the behavior is a dog lunging and barking, or a horse trying to bite at you for example, how can you effectively respond to support your animal to feel better? 

Reacting with anger or frustration and trying to stop it forcefully will likely either suppress the behavior without changing the fear, and or make it worse. What is something you are afraid of, or anxious about? Have you ever had anyone try and force you to do something? Tell you to, “Just get over it. Let it go, there is nothing to worry about.”  How does that make you feel? Even if you do it, does it change how you feel about it, or are you taking action while in a state of fear?

And that is why I quit being a dog trainer. Clients would know that their energy was influencing their animals. My telling them didn't make them feel any better, or change it. Sometimes instructions such as, “Just breathe, drop your shoulders, and loosen the leash tension,” would work while I was with them, but it didn’t always stick. At the time I didn't have tools that were effective enough to help someone change their feelings.

That is one reason why sometimes a trainer can get results that the owners can’t, because we don’t have the same emotional experiences and stories. If you have had experiences with your animals and you “know” it is going to happen, naturally it is pretty hard to relax. And you know what? It is ok that you feel that way, and it is ok that your animal feels that way. Transformation comes when you change your mind. When you create a new belief to replace your old belief. When a trigger no longer has the same meaning, because you perceive it differently.

It is why I constantly hear, “I have been through trainer after trainer and it isn’t working.” It’s not that you aren’t trying. It’s not that you’re not putting in the time. It’s not that you don’t understand that your energy matters. It’s that the piece of how to truly shift your energy is missing. Don't get me wrong. There are many amazing trainers for dogs and horses that are taking energy into account, that are helping their clients get results. Trainers that are positive and good with people and dogs are valuable and needed. But for those struggling to shift feelings and beliefs it isn't always enough to create change. Once you create an inner shift where you and your animals can access a lower thinking state, it is so much easier to learn and implement training.

Overthinking is a pretty common term these days in our busy lives, and so is mindfulness as we try to return to more harmony and balance. But it takes practice. This isn't a quick fix. You don't find peace of mind in a single session and keep it. You have to prioritize your desire to feel better and nurture peaceful feelings. To want to live from a place of having more peace of mind. That is why I believe our animals can be our best life coaches! Humans and animals share feelings. Want to know what you are thinking and feeling? It is often reflected in your animal's behavior.

For years I searched for a way to bring my coaching businesses for both humans and animals together. And then I found The Trust Technique. Now I can help pet parents with the missing piece!  I can teach you a simple, mindful technique that helps you to stop overthinking, so you can truly shift your energy and then share that more peaceful feeling with your animals. Then together, you can practice overcoming problems by acknowledging and accepting the feelings that come up, and have a tool to bring you back to a more peaceful place again. Triggers soften as you start to feel differently and transformation happens as you respond with peace of mind, rather than react from a high thinking place. 

Learning how to do this not only deepens the bond between you and your animals, it benefits you in your everyday life. How many times a day do we deplete our energy with feelings of frustration, anger or worry? By practicing how to bring your thinking levels down to benefit your animals, it automatically helps you as well. Every time you break the pattern of emotional distress in your animals, you break the pattern in yourself. That is why I believe animals can be our best life coaches!

Here is a link to Messages Of Trust, a free video course that will introduce you to the Trust Technique

I am so pleased to be a fully certified Trust Technique practitioner on Vancouver Island for domestic and large animals. If you would like to book a free 30 minute assessment phone call email or call 250 715 8364

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