Transforming Dog Training: From Commands to Connection #25

#canine #debono moves #dog training feldenkrais method Jun 17, 2024

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Can shifting your mindset from "training" to "teaching" revolutionize your relationship with your dog?

 Join me, Mary Debono, on this episode of Easier Movement Happier Dogs as we explore how this subtle yet impactful change can create a more positive and effective learning environment. We'll dive deep into the parallels between my Debono Moves method and effective dog teaching techniques, emphasizing the importance of setting up a distraction-free environment and gradually introducing challenges to help your dog succeed.

By listening to your dog and responding to their needs, you can enhance their body awareness, mobility, and overall well-being.

In this episode, you'll discover how to turn dog training into a meaningful dialogue rather than a one-sided monologue. Learn to identify what your dog can do easily and build on that foundation, ensuring the learning process is enjoyable and rewarding for both of you. This hands-on, gentle approach not only improves your dog's physical capabilities but also strengthens your bond.

Don't miss these valuable insights that can transform your approach to dog training and deepen your connection with your canine companion. Tune in and find out how to make movement easier and your dog happier today!


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All information is for general educational purposes ONLY and doesn't constitute medical or veterinary advice. Please consult a qualified healthcare provider if you or your dog are unwell or injured. 


Hi. Would you like dog training to be easier and more fun? Well, I hope you give this episode a listen. My name is Mary Debono, and this is the easier movement, Happier Dogs podcast. And today what I want to talk about is how dog training can reflect your values and can reflect a lot of the work I teach where. Because what I do is a hands on method.

Okay. It's a very gentle hands on method to improve your dog's body awareness, their mobility, their flexibility, their balance, all kinds of good stuff. And if we think about some of the concepts I talk about, we can also apply them to dog training. So let's start with this. Number one, I'm using the term dog training, but I actually think about. Think about it as teaching your dog rather than training your dog.

Now, that may seem like a silly distinction, you know, not important, but actually really is important because it changes how you approach it. If you think about training, it's like, it seems like that you want your dog to do something, kind of like almost no matter what. But if you think about teaching your dog, that has a different flavor to it, doesn't it? So that's number one. I just wanted to say that from the outset.

Same thing with the hands on work that I teach, the Debono moves, it's, you're giving your dog the opportunity to learn something new. So it's not like training, right. It's more teaching. So think about that. What does it feel to you when you think about helping your dog learn something rather than training your dog to do something? It's very different. Right. And one of the things you want to do, if you're thinking of teaching, right.

If you're hoping that your dog is going to learn something useful, you think about how you can set up the environment so that it is a successful learning environment for your dog. That means you might, in the beginning, minimize distractions. You want to make sure that you choose a time and a place, right? That's going to be, you know, that your dog will associate good things with that.

Your dog isn't really hungry, isn't really distracted by other dogs or other activities. You know, you take the time to set up the environment, and then, of course, over time, as your dog learns, right, and gets more comfortable, and you can start to change the environment to add some challenges. That's all part of the process. And we do a similar thing with the hands on work with Jabono moves.

You know, we make sure, especially in the beginning, that your dog's distractions are kept to a minimum. So you both can succeed. Right. So it's really important that you set this up. And I go into detail about that in my book, grow young with your dog, which I have right here. If you're watching the video and we talk about that, because that is so important, you want the dog to be in a place where the dog can learn, that the dog can focus on you and also that you can focus on the dog and what you're doing together.

Okay? Super important. The other thing that you do is you really listen to your dog. So in the Dibona moves that I teach, right, it's all about really sensing with your hands, with your eyes, with your ears, you know, all your senses. You're noticing things about your dog and then adjusting what you're doing accordingly. Well, you do the same thing when you're teaching your dog, don't you? Right?

Because you're noticing what your dog understands. You're noticing how your dog responds to you. And it's a dialogue. It's not a monologue. Okay? So it's very, very similar to how we approach the hands on work. Okay? The other thing is you really, in both scenarios, whether you're teaching your dogs particular things that look like dog training or you're doing the hands on work, you find what your dog can do easily, and then you build on that.

You expand on that so you don't start with something that's very difficult, right. You find, where is the ease already? Where is the learning? You know, where can this be easy? And you build on that. And that brings me to one of my favorite questions that I say a lot is, how can this feel easier? So whatever this is. So in the context of the hands on work, you know, that's what you're asking with your hands.

You're asking your dog, how can this feel easier? Or can you do this easily? Right. It's always along those lines of finding the ease, finding the ease, the pleasure, the comfort from the movements. And you can think of that the same way when you're teaching your dog other things. When you're doing some training, you can think about, ah, well, what does my dog do really well? And how can I expand on that?

How can I build on that, on that feeling of ease? And the other thing that we do in both scenarios, both the hands on work and dog training, is you want the dog to associate it with feeling good, right? So maybe with your training, you use a lot of games. It's like you make it a fun time. So it's fun for you as well. Well, we do the same thing in the hands on work.

We want the dog to associate movement with ease and pleasure, with feeling good. You want their body to feel good, their mind to feel good. Right? So this is really important. And then for you yourself, your intention, your attitude is so important in both scenarios. And having that playful, curious kind of partnership attitude will serve you well. Whether you're training your dog or doing the hands on work with your dog.

It's so, so important. It's such a huge part of this. And that's all, you know, like, so much of what living in harmony with your dog is about, isn't it? Having that partnership, we love that so much. We get such joy from that, from that connection. So in both situations, whether you're focusing on training or you're focusing on the hands on work, it's kind of one in the same, it's like the same philosophy, the same concepts can be transferred.

So again, I would ask yourself this, if you're ever stuck, whether again with the hands on work or the dog training, like, how can this feel easier? How can life together feel easier? More joyful, right? More harmonious. So let me know what you're struggling with. If you have a particular challenge with your dog, please let me know. You can always reach out to me. and I want to say thank you so much for listening and subscribing to this podcast.

I love sharing this work, and I look forward to talking to you again soon. Bye for now.