The Phenix Advocacy Center for Professional R+ Dog Trainers

Has a positive reinforcement professional trainer made a difference in your dog’s life?

In your own life?

Has an R+ professional helped your dog learn to relax and give him the gift of being able to enjoy his life?

Has an R+ professional sat with you – and cried with you – when your dog’s life comes to an end?

Has an R+ trainer given you force free tools to gift your new puppy with resiliency and confidence?

Has an R+ professional made ALL THE DIFFERENCE for your dog?

Now it’s your turn to say thank you and help us help these amazing trainers and human beings!

I do what I do because I love dogs and I have a huge amount of love and respect for the kind pet parents and guardians like you who will do anything and everything for their loved dog.

In February of this year, Annie Phenix created the Phenix Advocacy Group for R+ Canine Professionals. The PAC provides free peer-to-peer support for R+ trainers. As a BodyMind Coach and behavior consultant, this was a perfect fit for me. You see, we advocate for the mental and physical well-being professional members of the group

Why advocacy for the professionals in the dog training industry?

Well, professionals in this industry face cyber bullying, experience defenseless and voiceless companion animals being abused and tortured in the name of training and we are the warriors fighting against this injustice, we’re fighting against misinformation within the industry while even feeling isolated within our own communities.

This can lead to feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness to even feel we can make a change.

We’re depleted and burned out! The average burn out rate for a professional trainer is 2 years! For many of us, we don’t even get to the point of feeling confident in our expertise before we want to hit the bricks and run for the hills.

We need these committed folks more than ever. We need heart centered people who prioritize the wellbeing and welfare of our companions above all else.

There is now something we can do! We have a place where we can be seen and heard and receive support.

We do need your help!

You can help us help trainers by donating $5 to our Go Fund Me. It’s a small but important way to say a big THANK YOU for these hard-working and dedicated professionals.

The Go Fund Me explains why we are raising these funds now. Your donation will directly benefit R+ professionals through our Advocacy group! And THANK YOU for your love of dogs and for being our supportive community in all things dog!

Start with Your Values

Last week, my client was walking me out the door after our session.

He had an “aha” moment.

He turned to me and said, “I now know why you asked me during the discovery call what my level of commitment is in working with my dog.”

I got curious and asked him to share what he learned through our time together.

He shared how teaching his dog wasn’t an overnight quick fix.

He’s experienced through our time together how breaking down the skills into manageable bits helps his dog understand what to do instead.

My client shared how he struggled with his dog pulling and barking at everyone and everything.

For my client, this is dangerous since my client has mobility issues and so we not only came up with several ways of keeping both him and his dog safe.

As he shared his frustration with his dog pulling and barking “all of the time”, I asked my client after our session, “did your dog bark at the people passing by, the teenage yelling to get her father’s attention?”

He said no.

I asked him, “did your dog pull you down the driveway?”

He said no.

I asked him what changed.

He shared what changed was how I guided him to wait for his dog to check in with him, to play Engage/Disengage when his dog was watching the person yell to her dad.

He also shared how the connection with his dog is what made the difference.

I agreed. His connection with his dog shifted over our time together and this is the foundation for everything he wants to do with his dog.

It’s not enough to teach cues.

You have to go further. The trust and the connection is what will transform your relationship with your dog.

From the bond you share with your dog, then you can achieve what you put your mind to and considering what your dog wants to do too.

Remember you’re a team and being apart of a partnership requires both the person and dog to be on the same page and adjusting for what’s happening, how you both are changing and growing and what the purpose is in choosing a direction and path to go on.

If you desire a deeper relationship with your dog and value growth and connection over what your dog can do for you, set up a Discovery Call with me.

Let Your Dog Be Your Guide

I was chatting with one of my coaches the other day and she mentioned the idea that “we’re all just trying to get our needs met.”

This resonated with me because each one of us from humans to our companion animals are seeking out ways to meet our core needs of connection, belongingness, certainty/consistency, novelty, growth and contribution.

Connection: The need to have secure attachments and loving bonds with trusted caregivers.

Belongingness: Feeling our lives are significant and have meaning.

Certainty: Predictability. Consistency. This is where all of us including our dogs, develop a feeling of freedom in being our selves.

Novelty: New experiences, adventure, playfulness and anything and everything that enriches our lives.

Growth: Learning, expansion, developing our skils, passions and abilities. Reaching new heights and taking healthy risks.

Contribution: Service and sharing ourselves with our world. All of us (including our dogs) are social beings even if cultures assert independence and doing things ourselves. We weren’t meant to live isolated from one another. We were designed to live in community with each other.

Our dogs show us everyday how these core needs are important to them.

They guide us (if we listen) to deepen our awareness of what truly matters.

Our dogs are our guides to better understanding ourselves and what is important to us because they live their lives authentically and effortlessly.

What would happen if you took a cue from your companion animal and stepped into living your life more aligned with what we all inherently need (connection, belongingness, certainty, novelty, growth and contribution)?

What does that look like for you?

Feel free to share in the comments!

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