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More Than Commands and Tricks

Dog training – It’s a term that means something unique and special to each of us.

For some, it's the thrill of competitions; for others, it’s forging bonds with adventure buddies. Some delve into the playful world of teaching tricks, while others seek loyal companionship. And then, there are those incredible therapy and assistance dogs - genuine lifesavers in every sense of the word.

I’d like to take a moment to share my own perspective.

What dog training means to me, and one of the main reasons I felt a compelling pull towards the world of animals and dog training, has always been about understanding the very essence of a creature whose world, instincts, and language are so distinct from our own.

Yet, among these differences, there emerges this beautiful, silent symphony.

My fascination with canines and the craft of dog training is deeply driven by a thirst for learning. Early on, as I tried to establish a deeper level of communication with my dogs, I realised there was a universe of understanding yet to be understood.

It wasn't just about teaching commands; it was about building connection.

The rest of the world would fade, leaving just me and my four-legged mate, laser-focused on each other. Those moments became my oasis, an escape from the relentless phone calls, the daily grind, and the mounting responsibilities waiting on the sidelines. Time would stand still, and the only thing that mattered was the bond being crafted between two souls - man and beast.

Each session was a liberating experience where stress didn't exist. This ‘escape’, what some might label a 'hobby', swiftly evolved into a fierce passion - a passion not just to train, but to connect, to communicate, and to truly understand the psyche of these incredible animals.

In this ever-changing world, where we're so often masked behind layers of pretence, where political correctness dictates our expressions, these majestic creatures – these dogs – they ground us. They are a bridge to something more primal, more authentic, more real.

They don't care for the facades we build. They respond to honesty, to energy, to intent. And in their raw, unfiltered responses, they teach us invaluable lessons. Through their eyes, they teach us the art of being present, the importance of authenticity, and standing tall against any force trying to suppress our true nature.

And here's the thing: as much as we might try to impose our human narratives on them, they'll often push back, they'll resist. Because nature has its own rhythm, its own laws, and its own boundaries. To cross them is to invite friction, sometimes even rebellion.

An old saying that resonates with me continually: “You can't fight Mother Nature; you can only ever truly succeed when working with her”. This wisdom serves as a constant reminder to honour our dogs for the true animals they are, urging us to recalibrate our expectations and approach when we observe signs of disharmony, behavioural struggles, or anxiety in our dogs.

Being a dog trainer, for me, isn’t just about amazing skills and it’s not about asserting dominance... It's about mutual respect - about valuing the vast world of wisdom that the animal kingdom has to offer. More than anything, it's about cherishing an age-old bond between man and beast, giving way to conversations that need no words.

Now over to you as I'm keen to hear your stories in the comments below...

What does dog training mean to you?

Cheers, Ryan King.

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