Your dog's best life: Five Principles
Whenever I see a dog who isn't leading their best life, I think to myself, what is that dog's life missing?
Many might see a dog and say, he has no manners, or she doesn't listen, or he's just stubborn, but I want more.
Fundamentally, what is that dog missing that makes it look like these other things?
I have narrowed it down to five principles that every dog needs to lead their best life.
The Five Principles are: Relationship, Freedom, Confidence, Instinct, and Grit.
Relationships are multidimensional and complex. A dog living their best life has found a way to perfect their relationships with their human and other family members, as well as with the greater world.
A relationship should bring mutual joy, provide comfort, and launch adventures. A relationship is ever-changing, fluid, and dynamic. For a relationship to be solid, the other Principles must be present. A relationship without freedom is a prison; a relationship that lacks confidence is based on fear; a relationship that denies natural behaviors and outlets is coercive and forced. Lastly, a relationship that lacks Grit will dissolve at the first bump, it will breed distrust and erode confidence.
All of the Five Principles need one another to function. And together, when they have all been nurtured to their highest potential, your dog will find their best life.
I have always sought to help animals find their way to their most joyous selves. I have worked with animals since 1989, always striving to find a way to improve their lives, whether as a professional horse trainer, a certified veterinary technician, or a professional dog trainer; I have always seen in animals the unabashed truest joy, and it has been my purpose to allow every animal to feel that as often as they can in their lives.
Watching an animal express their truest joy makes us happy too. I, unlike some animal professionals, actually like people. I want them to feel the joy I feel when I watch a dog run free over rocks, or hunt squirrels in the woods. I want them to feel the joy of a perfect moment of communication, unbroken, and undisturbed with another species. I want everyone to know the joy of a puppy playing, and the warmth of fur on cold feet. The moment when you turn to your dog in the car and know that you and they are in the same moment.
I want, more than anything, to bring joy to the world in some small way.