Continuous Learning

bernese mountain dog walking on a leash next to their owner

Continuous Learning

A life with dogs is a life of continuous learning. Every dog owner, trainer or not, has experienced their first dog as an adult. Regardless of our experience with dogs, owning our first dog is a learning experience that continues throughout life with that dog. Living things change, environments change, and life changes. As everything constantly changes, we must learn how to adjust, learn new skills, and prepare ourselves for changes.

Whether professional or dog owners who train their dogs, dog trainers must make many of the same adjustments/changes. We must seek out opportunities to add to our knowledge. A technique or tool that works today may only work sometimes. We need many viable alternatives. A technique that works with one dog might not work with another dog. A skilled trainer always has another way to achieve a goal. 

The best way for me to learn is by studying with others. I have many mentors, each a source of inspiration and guidance. Most of my mentors provide opportunities for joint study through seminars, shadow programs, virtual lessons, or in-person training sessions. I earned a lot of value by attending and befriending many pet dog trainers, a testament to the power of learning from our peers in this field. 

One of my good friends and long-time mentors recently launched a new virtual program called Heather’s Heroes Certified Trainers Program. It is designed to teach and certify dog trainers in her training methods. My friend’s name is Heather Beck. Heather told me about her plan to develop this certificate when I visited her in Utah last year. I decided to earn that certification and be the first to do it. I told Heather I would volunteer if she needed someone to test the program. At the beginning of this year, I got the call to be a tester. My job was to go through the course materials as intended, looking for issues, problems, and difficulties. I am good at those things, so I accepted the job along with 11 others. 

I am an established dog trainer who spent 13 years doing everything that makes it possible for me to train dogs professionally. I have proven techniques and skills. I had to put all of that aside to learn something new. Standing in one spot and waiting for the dog to calm down was hard. I know how to teach a dog to calm down and thought my way was faster and better. My friend pushed me to do the program as she intended when she created it. I gave up and decided to do the program as she intended and to the best of my ability. Twelve weeks later, I turned in my last assignment and was amazed by how much I learned and achieved in the program. The program hammered “Heather’s Heroes Core Values”. The values are 1. Holistic Approach 2. Human-canine bond 3. Continuous Learning 4. Trust and Transparency. 

My company mission is to help you build harmony and structure in your relationship with your dog and teach you to communicate clearly so you can always Enjoy Your Dog!!! While I spent 13 years developing my communication and teaching skills for the families that needed me, I would explain “structure” and teach how to use communication to establish it. This new program gave me access to 25 years of Heather’s knowledge and work. She taught me exercises I now teach others so they can experience Harmony and Structure, as in my Supercycles program, where clients experience human-canine communication. Taking the time to learn improved my skills and enhanced my value to clients. 

This will encourage all dog owners to seek out more knowledge. Yes, training will help you to solve your dog’s problem behaviors, but a great dog owner does not stop there. Great dog owners want to Enjoy their dogs, and their dogs enjoy life with them. Continued learning helps them to achieve that goal. So if you find a good dog trainer, stick around them, encourage them to continue teaching you, pay and support them, and use the resources they developed to help you. Thank you all for reading, and Enjoy Your Dog!!!