How do you make a dog feel so invincible that it will go into a blizzard, cross a big river or join you at a big stage with lights, music and a loud crowd without hesitating? Four times Iditarod winner Dallas Seavey is sharing his thoughts on this in the first episode of Non-stop dogwear podcast “Unleashed”.
– It comes down to trust. It comes down to them knowing that you are never going to ask the dog to do something that they cannot do well. I don’t mean just accomplish the task, but to do it well and have fun doing it. That’s based on trust and a lifetime of teaching them that this is going to be fun, we are going to do it together and I’m never going to ask you to do something you can’t do.
– We’re training Superman
Building this starts from day one, when the dog is a puppy. Every interaction you have with that dog is teaching them something. Therefore it is important that every interaction is the right kind of interaction.
- In the beginning, we’re training Superman. We are training this dog to be able to do anything. The secret is to show them that they can do anything and never show them anything they can’t do. Play their strengths, avoid their weaknesses
In the episode Dallas is also talking about how to build a team and how to make the most of the team you have.
– When you recognize the team or dog you do have, you then have to find how does this team be successful. How do I play to their strengths and avoid their weaknesses?
In the podcast episode Dallas is talking about how he becomes the bridge between the familiar and the unknown.
– The most common mistake is that we see things from a human perspective. Think about if you’re traveling with a dog anywhere: We are going think logistically, like “Are we going to catch the next flight”, “Do I have enough fuel to make it” or “Where are we going to spend the night”. Those are not problems for your dog! All they know is they have been in the crate and they really have to pee! Also, the dog may not see any problem but yet the human is all stressed out, and now they are starting to think are the human or my leader of this pack irrational, cause here they are totally stressed over something that the dog sees no problem. Other times, we can cognitively understand that the next checkpoint is only three miles away and it has been a long day but it is not a big deal – we’re almost there. But, we only know that because we can see the GPS and we know the plan. The dog doesn’t know the plan or see the GPS, so you always have to be aware of maybe they are starting to be nervous and you are not supporting them or acknowledging their concern. See the problem as your dog sees it.
Curious to know more? Listen to “Unleashed”, a podcast by Non-stop dogwear.