Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's like losing weight....

It occurred to me having lost 25 pounds, that working with a reactive dog or aggressive dog is a lot like losing weight. Let's face it there's some baggage to tone.

It also occurred to me that this is the reason for slides in progress, regressions, and renewals of commitment. Like losing weight, most cannot do it themselves. A coach is needed and that's where I come in. Inspiring, motivating, getting things back on track, suggesting new ways to do something and even giving a little lecture once in awhile keeps the process on track.

Feeling guilty about why we've let ourselves go equates perfectly to why did I let little Fido get to this point. Best to leave the guilt behind and jump on the bandwagon to progress. Ups and downs are as much a part of the process of losing weight as they are of modifying behavior in dogs.

Further, I don't know of anyone who lost 25, 50 or 100 pounds in a day or a week. There is no quick fix for losing weight and there is no quick fix for changing behavior. Dogs being the emotional creatures they are will take a systematic process and moving too fast will see setbacks, as will moving too slow. There has to be balance, hard work, constant evaluation and yes, the ever critical WEIGH IN.

Setting goals and cheering on milestones is a huge part of the behavior trainer's day. There are set WEIGH INs to see where we are, where we're going and what we've achieved.

And when a new dog emerges, well that is my greatest joy to witness. New tools, new ways of doing things in the environment and as the little monster disappears and new beauty, happiness appear it reminds me a lot of how confidence builds, beauty appears and the body changes after weight loss.

Ok....back to the apples :).

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