Free Maintenance Training For Life
All graduates of the D&D K9 Dynamics Program will receive free maintenance training for the life of their K9. Obedience falling off? Stop by and we’ll help diagnose and re-up the training. Running into a confidence issue with a specific part of the job? Call us for a customized courage-building session. You take pride in your team and so do we. Consider it a warranty – a guarantee – a promise.
We’re not just in the dog-training business, we’re in the team-building business. K9 handling is not about having a flawless dog at the end of the leash. It’s about two halves of a whole, working together to compliment each other’s skill set. Your training is not to learn “how a tool works.” It’s to learn how to be the best partner you can.
You expect results. We’ll work hard to help you achieve those results. We expect you to come with an open mind, ready to observe, listen, and learn what your dog is telling you. While you are teaching your dog, they will be teaching you. We’ll help each of you communicate with and understand the other.
The Crucial Skill
To craft a top-notch K9 team, 2-way communication is the most essential component.
Countless people had their first sense of partnership with their childhood dog – two parts of a whole, having adventures, experiencing companionship, and keeping each other safe. Somewhere in the process of growing up, too many of us forget how natural that pairing was. In our youth, there are no preconceived notions of superiority or leadership. While one speaks in words and the other in body language, there is never frustration at the lack of an ability to talk with each other. Communication happens because neither party second-guesses what the other means. There is an inherent trust.
As we grow and are engulfed by the subtleties and complexities of human dialogue, there is a certain trait so many of us begin to develop, called false consensus effect. It’s a cognitive bias that prompts individuals to assume that their behavioral characteristics, thought processes, and approaches to communication are common and the base-line standard for everyone and everything else.
While this mindset can lead to communication issues between people, it is a nearly impassable hurdle between humans and dogs. Commonly seen in first-time dog owners with new dogs, the default action is to repeat a command numerous times without having taught it to the dog in the first place (with the subconscious assumption that because they comprehend basic English, the dog does too). Similarly, as humans, we understand social norms dictate we moderate our behavior in public, such as avoiding overbearing eruptions of action and yelling, willfully violating someone’s personal space, or acting with an outburst of aggression toward something or someone that we dislike.
In our youth, emotions and the false consensus effect are what drive our behavior – we are either unable to contain or communicate what we are feeling, or we are simply acting in an attempt to imitate our limited understanding of the actions of others. It’s the same for dogs.
The bottleneck happens when an adult, with a refined perception of the intricacies of communication or expected behavior, has an inherent assumption that a dog developed the same sophisticated understanding as it grew up.
While dogs can boast an impressive array of skill sets, far beyond our capabilities, as humans, we possess the mental ability to perceive, understand, and reason through complex communication, even if the way in which it is presented is completely foreign to us. It is our responsibility to learn and adapt to the dogs’ method of communication, and forego the unattainable assumption they can communicate to us in the manner we have come to expect from a lifetime of human interaction.
Dogs are the masters of non-verbal communication and, if we are to expect they learn from us, we must honor our position as the other half of the team and commit, and allow ourselves to learn from them.