Tamed

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A month ago, they were fighting so much we had to muzzle them when they were in the same room.

What changed?

A slow transition to unmuzzled company.

Daily exercise.

Firm but loving handling: sitting before going out a door, sitting before feeding, etc.

Immediately redirecting any aggressive behavior.

Lots of positive reinforcement of good behavior.

 

Dogs are a lot like humans!

Set Yourself Up

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Fish in Seeweed – watercolor pens

In training our new dog to like her crate, I randomly place tasty treats inside and keep the door open. When we first got her, she refused to go in – most likely because it reminded her of the kennel where she lived with hundreds of other dogs.

But quickly, she grew to associate her crate with treats. Only happy things happened there: some peace and quiet, a warm bed and chicken jerky.

We can do the same for ourselves. We can create positive associations to activities and places that are good for us that we might not feel so great about right now.

There are a group of cyclists that ride by my community every morning around 5:30 a.m. Most likely, they don’t think Ugh, have to wake up early and go riding again. Instead, they might associate this activity with camaraderie, friendship, and a feeling of vitality.

The ultimate power lies in knowing how to train ourselves to be better.