Infinite Dog, Kamloops, BC, Canada, dog training, aggression, behaviour, puppies, puppy training
Infinite Dog, Kamloops, BC, Canada, dog training, aggression, behaviour, puppies, puppy training

Philosophy

Tamryns story Infinite Dog

What is the idea of shamanic dog training?

Shamanic dog training offers a way of living with your dog, more than a technique for training your dog. It creates a much stronger foundation of understanding, connection and teaching between you and your dog – making teaching and learning from each other so simple and fluid it doesn’t feel like much work at all.

By living with your dog in a way that acknowledges and addresses his or her own creative consciousness and unique awareness, you are inviting her or him to participate in your life, your family and your community as a whole in an entirely fresh way. That is what shamanic dog training provides: a way for you to acknowledge and interact with the unique and definite consciousness and awareness of your dog.

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Whereas most traditional dog training systems briefly address a dog’s psyche while mainly focusing on techniques to manipulate and control your dog into doing what you want, Shamanic dog training helps your dog understand how your daily life, family life and community life works. It helps your dog create meaning from his life and the information you provide. It supports him or her as she makes internal and permanent adjustments, of her own choosing, to the way she functions.

Shamanic dog training helps you work with your dogs’ unique level of consciousness and awareness, acknowledging that dogs are our brothers and sisters. It helps you find a way to connect to your dog at that level, showing him or her how to fit into your daily life, your family and your community with ease and intelligence.

Instead of focusing on the end result of control – controlling your dog with commands and obedience, dominance and corrections, cookies and bribery, Shamanic dog training starts much deeper, tapping into your dog’s consciousness and awareness by interacting with him or her as though she is conscious and aware to begin with.

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How is shamanic dog training different?

Most dog training does not infer that dogs are conscious and aware. Instead, it develops a myriad of ways to create permanent and temporary control with obedience commands, dominance theory, and conditioning with corrections, clickers, cookies. Even the most positive of positive reinforcement is still based on finding ways to manipulate dogs into doing what we want them to do.

While these theories and techniques are perfectly effective in creating command-based control over our dogs, they do little to address the incredible level of consciousness, awareness and mental and emotional intellect our dogs possess.

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Instead, these theories find a way to muscle our ways into our dog’s lives without really acknowledging the full truth and depth of who these beautiful creatures really are.

Dogs have chosen to live with humans. They have agreed, as an entire species, to be our companions, our protectors, our workers, our guides and our teachers. Yes – our teachers! They are here in many capacities, offering us a centuries-long opportunity and social experiment: how will we choose to behave and interact with these willing-to-submit, loving-no-matter-what, co-operative-to-the-end sweet and powerful creatures?

Dogs offer us the choice: knowing that they will submit either way – whether we choose kindness, ignorance or cruelty, how will we decide to live with them? Will we honour their choice to give up so much of their freedom to come and join us in our homes, our families, our communities? Will we help them find the maximum level of creative, intellectual, emotional and physical freedom that is possible within the structure of guardian-pet relationship that we find ourselves? Will we take the extra time it takes to let them choose the pace, the timing, the unfolding of their learning, the developing; their settling into living as foreigners in a separate culture from their own?

In choosing our response, we have not always had all of the information available to us. Scientists, behaviourists, researchers and others have all studied the dog in such a clinical way – separating their responses into categories, examining flow charts and video playbacks and creating double blind studies, asking dogs a myriad of pointless and useless questions, all in a bid to find out how they tick.

Without considering the possibility that dogs come already equipped to quietly, lovingly and joyfully find their way into a comfortable and pleasant place among humans, we have tied ourselves into knots developing complicated theories and techniques for finding control-based structures to build our relationships upon.

Dogs, being the co-operative, peaceful and non-confrontational companions that they are, have never complained about the way we set about communicating with them. They have never rejected our plans of corrections for bad behaviour, rejection and withdrawal of love for incorrect choices, offering inane amounts of treats and giggles for good boys and girls. No, they have never complained. Nor have they ever pointed out that we are going about it completely backwards.

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How does shamanic dog training work?

Shamanic dog training provides the tools to build a life with your dog that invites sacred partnership between companions, partnership based on love and right relationship and fluidity. Sacred partnership might seem a little dramatic or over indulgent for some. I mean, we are just talking about dog training, here, aren’t we?

Yes, we are talking about dog training, that is correct. However, we are also talking about an opportunity to build something much bolder, much deeper, much stronger and much sweeter. We are talking about building a bridge across the gulf of species-difference, and making a connection at a consciousness/awareness level with someone who can shake your life up and bring your heart out and make you laugh beyond anything you felt before…. we are talking about building a common ground for 2 beings from different species, where they can play and love and laugh and live together with fewer barriers to communication, love, acceptance, joy, play and growth than ever thought possible.

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We are talking about an idea system that can provide you the means to understand your dog at a level deeper than before, connect to him or her in a way that frees you both from human-dog limitations of communication and enjoy the company of a pure being who is here to heal, teach, love and accept you in a way no other human can offer.

To build this common ground; this place of sacred play and companionship so special and intimate that you feel like your heart is being read aloud, we need a few ingredients to set the stage and make the most of what we have available to us.

We will need equal parts ayni, or right relationship, munay, or unconditional love, and killary, or fluidity. These are the building blocks that set the stage for magic between friends and family. Magic!

These ingredients are so important because they contain the qualities to let down our guards with each other; the secrets to trusting fully in each other; the mojo that will set in motion an unfolding of creation and co-creation, allowing you and your dog to create the life you want together, just as you always hoped – but never believed possible.

When you and your dog friend find a way to care equally for one another’s needs and desires (right relationship), when you accept everything about each other without judgement or rejection (unconditional love) and when you allow things to go wrong sometimes without casting blame or being frustrated (fluidity), you have made possible heaven on earth.

Again, this may seem too “out there”, too “sappy”. Yes, I admit – our culture does little to place high value on these essential aspects of relationship and happy existence. Instead, we get a little caught up in process, results, outcome, achievement, measurement, expectation and comparison. It can feel difficult to be “in the flow” and accepting when things don’t go your way if you are invested heavily in results, outcome and deadlines for achievement.

It can feel like you are playing around with silliness if you choose to take a little extra time to let your dog get comfortable with the sound of the brakes in your new car before you unroll the windows entirely – it can feel like you are indulging the other, like you are dangerously close to “not being in control” or “not being alpha” when you let your dog smooch you each time you bend over to put your shoes on.

Because we are encouraged to hold deadlines and push for performance above pain, we are told that emotions are not something to slow down for, that tending carefully to growing and tender love is a pastime for free time, not something to do when things really count – when time is ticking and things need to get done.

We push for perfection, we pound for toughness, we criticize hesitation and we judge tenderness for weakness. However, how often have we really put ourselves in the place of the receiving line – how often have we considered how it feels to be the recipient of so much pressure, pushing, rushing, and denying of the things you are asking for. The things you need.

So, when we ask that you allow space in your relationship with your dog for things so important as ayni (right relationship), munay (unconditional love) and killary (fluidity), it must feel like we are asking you to paint pictures of unicorns while the other competitors make their get away with the winnings of ­­a lifetime of work.

Friend, I assure you, these factors – right relationship (ayni), unconditional love (munay) and fluidity (killary) are the only building blocks you will ever need to build the most stable and strong foundation for relationship you could ever need. This foundation will see you through every challenge, every set back, every cherished moment and precious hilarity with more fuel, more presence, more joy and more power than you could ever gain through any other means.

I ask you this: Why is it that the only teachings through the ages, the core teachings of every wisdom practice, every foundational religion, and every indigenous culture on earth, are these: love, equality, and fluidity? These are the ones to watch for. These are the ones to cultivate. These are the keys to the kingdom.

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What does shamanic dog training make possible?

What’s possible with this awareness of the consciousness and awareness of our canine friends? With the investment in ayni (right relationship), munay (unconditional love) and killary (fluidity)? What does a life like this with your precious canine companion look like, anyway?

This is the point where we talk about the gifts available to us, when we acknowledge the innate consciousness, awareness, mental and emotional intellect of our canine counterparts. When we sink into the kindness of right relationship (ayni), the open-heartedness of unconditional love (munay) and the ease of situation of fluidity (killary).

What does it look like? It looks like laughter, love, excitement, adventure and interconnectedness beyond our current understanding. When we live with our dogs from a shamanic point of view, we provide them the support, tools, understanding and wisdom required to set themselves free.

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Free of the limitations of obedience, of just doing what you are told – every time, with no chance of escape from the boredom, the unforeseen apathy and the incredible desire to tune out of the surrounding momentum.

These dogs of ours, these amazing four legged friends, are capable of making decisions and choices for themselves that are in complete alignment with the way they come to understand human daily life, family life and culture. They just need someone to help them figure out how humans tick, what is important to them, and how to fit in as foreigners in a strange land.

When we address the parts of the relationship that are the most important, we are actually sowing the seeds for a wondrous process to sprout – an ongoing dialogue between you and your dog that moves and breathes and responds to situations on a moment to moment basis. When you and your dog take down the barriers to communication and truly come together to work as partners, you can understand each other at a level you didn’t know was possible.

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What will my dog and I learn with shamanic dog training?

While it is still necessary to tell your dog how he or she might best handle or respond to certain situations and events, you can now simply speak to your dog as you would speak to any other person: you can assume that he will be able to interpret your words and your explanations into something that creates meaning for himself. He will be able to adjust himself in the very ways that you suggest.

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And if it turns out to be the case that he is unable to do or respond as you request or suggest, it becomes a simple task to gather him up and hold him quietly while the moment passes.

There is less separation with this type of set up, this nature of foundational relationship. You will have an open conduit to your dog that feels so natural that you will spend very little time on actual old-fashioned “dog training”. Instead, you will find yourself teaching your dog his own set of life skills, much as you would teach a child as he or she becomes available intellectually and emotionally to process and interpret the information you are providing.

The relationship developed through shamanic dog training is one of constant open communication and constant touching in, connecting and relating. Much like a relationship with any other friend or family member, you will get to know each other’s strengths and challenges, and you will help each other enhance and compensate for these as needed.

For instance, with shamanic dog training, you are encouraged to speak to your dog – through conversational direction, daily explanations of schedules, events and activities, discussions of life changes and significant issues that will affect the household and/or your dog. You will become so accustomed to explaining things to your dog that you will begin to take for granted that he or she will listen to you, hear you and integrate what you are saying just like any other individual you are in relationship with.

This means that there will be things easy to discuss and resolve. Like a dog who is easy to ask to stop barking when someone rides their bike by the house. Or a dog who stops and releases the snow mitt he has in his mouth when you gently ask him if he has something he should or shouldn’t. And there will be, just as in any relationship with a live breathing individual being, things that are a challenge, that might never completely resolve themselves, and you both must make adjustments to accommodate the issue. For instance, perhaps your dog cannot help herself when she wants to chase a cat. She just cannot resist the temptation! This means you know it is best to have her on leash when you walk through your neighbourhood, where several house cats spend their time in the driveways and along fence lines.

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Tamryns story Infinite Dog

Leaving behind perfection

When you approach your relationship with your dog with fluidity, you can accept the great things along with the not-so-great-things. It doesn’t mean that someone has failed, that someone is not clever, or that someone needs to work harder or pull up their socks. It might just mean that, between the two of you, you haven’t found a way to change the situation. That can be okay. That can be “just how it is”. You can try your best. You can try various ideas, various approaches and various states of mind. But, you can also know when enough is enough, and it is time to stop trying so hard to get it all right, to try to achieve perfection.

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The perfection that is sold to us in most dog training books – telling us that if you just work at this or that exercise for 10 minutes a day for 1 month, you too will have the following amazing and miraculous results.

It just doesn’t work that way. And we are in some sort of morbid denial if we believe that it does. We are told by many dog trainers and many experts that our dogs should be expected to perform flawlessly under a battery of conditions, regardless of their personality, age, state of mind or overall constitution. I often wonder if these dog trainers spend very much time in the “real world”.

I imagine dog trainers who keep their dogs to themselves – who do not take them to Rona every time they need another bag of nails. Who do not spend time in the neighbourhood or at the farmers markets with their dogs excitedly looking for crumbs of cookies, sausage rolls and pastries on the ground. The messiness of life is so delicious and so fun to dive into with your dog friend, I wonder how much of it we miss because we are hesitant to let other people see the guts and workings of the relationships we choose to build with our best friends – our hairy buddies.

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So, if we were to approach dog training from a shamanic perspective, it would take our view pointers and gently turn them a few degrees to a new direction, a new horizon, a new idea: lets invite our dogs to join our busy families, our funny lives, our crazy moments, and lets allow them the time and space and love it takes for them to figure out (with our support and guidance) how they are going to fit into this amazing world full of humans and buildings, rather than animals and trees.




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Infinite Dog, Kamloops, BC, Canada, dog training, aggression, behaviour, puppies, puppy training
Infinite Dog, Kamloops, BC, Canada, dog training, aggression, behaviour, puppies, puppy training
250.573.1744  |  tamryn@infinitedog.ca  |  Kamloops, BC, Canada
© Copyright 2018 Infinite Dog
250.573.1744  |  tamryn@infinitedog.ca
Kamloops, BC, Canada
© Copyright 2018 Infinite Dog
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