Skip to content

There are no short cuts

September 7, 2017

There are no short cuts

When we are working with an animal our own needs can direct our choices and decisions. We focus on outcomes and the end goal which is commonly revolves around us. The dog that no longer causes discomfort when pulling their leash, the dog that instantly responds to our demands, the companion that understands our lifestyle choices.

But for that learner, for that animal, what is happening now and how it makes them feel is what matters the most. That is their reality. Do they understand, do they want more than the next treat, do they want to be with us or have they no choice ? For decades trainers have been engineering time saving processes and hard-selling them as ideal solutions.

What they are missing is the life-breathing element that evolves from the process. The reflection of joy and connection from a time invested process that leaves your learner enthused. It is never replaceable with quick fix solutions.

It takes thoughtfulness to plan how to make the learning experience one of pure pleasure, even in the elements that are challenging. It is so much more than just delivering treats or toys. Our companion animals want to share a part of us, the very best they can draw from us and it is this demand that ensures we grow, as companions to them and as their teachers.

It takes intelligence and intuition to seek out solutions that carry the mark of deep practice, skilfulness and evidence of a body of work that aligns with our own beliefs. We see the culmination of thousands of hours of practice, exploration, cold fingers and slobbery clothes. But we also see those bright, shiny eyes reflect our passion for teaching, learning and connecting with another animal.

Passion follows engagement and meaning follows mastery Srini Rao
What we experience when training thoughtfully may be individual and exclusive. We are all teachers and we are all learners to each other. Although our paths may not be travelling in parallel, a weekend of intense exploration that cultures thoughtful learning can ensure the next steep slope is one of exhilarating views, not one of staring and the ground and hope we get to the top soon.

When I see thoughtful training I see a passion, experience and skilful application that leaves me itching to get training, get learning new skills, exploring even better solutions that leave no learner floundering. Training that leaves no stress residue but a perpetual desire to learn more, learn with others and enjoy the global energy that it brings.

Travelling to another city and leaving our companions is never short cut learning. This is the sort of effort that lasts a lifetime, and experience that begins new views, shifts our understanding  and starts it own revolution in the way we approach training.

My most significant shifts have evolved when applying what I have learned from conferences or seminars, often going through my notes on the flight home. I get to see the very best ideas, the essence of thoughtfulness, the accumulative mileage that other trainers have taken and what they have learned and can share with us. Even preparing my presentations forces clarity of thinking and a crystallisation of the processes, ideas, creativity and experience.

I have seen this effect over and over again. In classes, online groups, conferences, when people with the same passion get together to learn the learning explodes.

when people with the same passion get together to learn the learning explodes.


There is nothing that can replace learning alongside people who share our values in animal training. A passion shared is a passion deepened. No matter what dog, horse, chicken or child we are teaching making sure they have the very best experience is much more than just being a treat dispenser.

Train thoughtfully.

Training thoughtfully IS the short cut

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 7, 2017 12:13 pm

    Beautifully said Kay. Sharing passion is indeed the deepening of it. Inspiring words!! Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: