How do I stay sane when I'm training this stubborn-ass dog?
My self-care advice this week is to accept where you are in the process without judgment.
I’m certainly not judging anyone, and the big deal is that YOU’RE HERE.
You took action towards improving life with your pet as soon as you signed up to learn more about training – that’s worth being proud of!
And even if you haven’t so much as glanced at the first video yet, you can still make use of a mantra that has saved many clients’ their sanity:
I am more patient than my dog is stubborn.
Reading those words when you’re leaving/entering the house with your dog before/after a training session can be a lifesaver… especially on those days you just wanna break shit.
Write something else that encourages you on Post-Its. Stick ‘em where you can see ‘em, particularly the areas where your dog can be a real mofo – anywhere you find yourself feeling exasperated.
Personalize your affirmation!
For example, let’s say your mofo’s name is “Hellion.”
Put post-it, a flashcard – a framed needlepoint if you’re big into over-achievement – that says “Hellion might be stubborn, but I am patient!” by the door.
It doesn’t have to be tacky or obvious. The important thing is that YOU can see it when your patience is tested.
- Put “I am more patient than Hellion is stubborn” near Hellion’s crate.
- Put it near Hellion’s food bowl.
- Put it on the sun visor in your car.
- Put it on a keychain.
- Put it on your phone’s home screen.
If you’re having a particularly rough time in the mornings, put it in your bathroom so you can see it as soon as you start your day.
If coming home from work is the time you most dread, put it in the garage or outside the front door so you can see it before you even greet Hellion. Painting the words on rocks to keep outside is a great rainy day activity.
Get creative. Have fun with it. Enlist your friends and family’s help!
Have it engraved on a wristband if you’ve got money like that.
You get the point. Whenever, wherever your mofo is making you crazy, you want to be able to see those words.
Because they’re true. You really are way more patient than your little hellion is stubborn.
What this exercise does is gently encourage mindfulness during times when emotion threatens to overcome reason.
The more mindful you are, the more control you have over yourself.
The more control you have over yourself, the more effectively you can train your dog.
And that’s it. Scrawl with a Sharpie or go wild and rock out with your smock out. Keep it authentic to you!