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Tracy Courtney


Rehabilitating Mischa for a Local Rescue

Parameters with Duke


Through the application of Parameters, the average dog can be taught to heel, stop, lay down, make eye contact & sit within 30 minutes, without ever asking the dog to do anything, saying no, or correcting the dog's personal choice or expression of behaviour in any way. This is to prove to you that behavior doesn't have to be addressed individually or directly as many so dogmatically believe is necessary. So why do we spend weeks, months or years in cookie-cutter classes that don't provide lasting results? Because methods based on the physical aspects of behaviour have a very limited application. They don't teach us how to understand or address the normal, everyday activities we experience with our dogs outside of class time. Essentially, most dog & human mind's have been in 5th gear or overdrive for a very long time. 

Parameters teaches you how to begin to become quiet in yourself, mentally, emotionally, physically & verbally so that you can begin to shift your dog's mind into neutral while beginning to learn how to have connection & mutual communication through building a new mutual language. We must shift the mind(s) into neutral prior to beginning to shift into reverse & Parameters teaches you how to shift into neutral. Reverse is the equivalent of a dog that places full focus & attention on their owner without the owner having to feel responsible for how their dog will act in any given situation. Parameters begins to remove the unknown factors, which allows for the letting go of previous stress & anxiety in relation to life's daily interactions for both of you. After learning the basic how's & why's of your dog's behaviour through dynamic neutrality, we begin to shift into reverse using typical environmental triggers that focus on addressing everything else you & your dog do in a day & how to build your new language template.

If I were to ask you to visualize in this moment, what a well trained dog looks like, what would you say? Many would habitually focus on the physical attributes only. We would say things like, the dog doesn't pull on the leash, sits when asked, comes when called, etc. This is the goal, the end result of what we all want to accomplish but what's missing is the understanding needed to reach those goals. Why our dog does what they do & what to do to change the thoughts in every given situation, is the other 2/3 of the puzzle that's missing in common physical methods.

When we begin to look past the physical aspects of behavior & begin to understand the mental & emotional processes, aka: the why's & how's, a whole new door of understanding opens up that we never knew was even available to us. When we begin to look at the mental & emotional processes during our visualization, there are 2 missing components that prevent our attaining these goals. One is a connection & the other is communication. How are we taught to communicate with our dogs? Through a strictly verbal process that is the equivalent to a narcissistic relationship. We don't know how to allow for mutual discussion, expression or understanding of personal feelings & emotions from our dogs. We give a command & the only discussion we allow in the matter is the ability for our dog to say yes or no to our dictations. Where is the discussion or compromise in these scenarios? Is this the foundation of a good relationship?

We can further visualize a "problem" dog as a one that is connected to & receiving greater stimulation from their environment, aka: the environment is more interesting & fun than we are. We can verify this by simply looking at our dog now. Is our dog looking at us? Does our dog care where we are? Does our dog care what we're doing or what we want, or are they more interested in everything except us? What we fail to understand is that typical physical training methods actually teach the opposite of what we're trying to achieve, by teaching our dog to disconnect from us rather than to connect. We are taught to put bandaids on the outcomes instead of addressing the root causes of input, that create the outcomes, such as anxiety medications, pinch, choke & shock collars, halties, etc. Do these bandaids allow for mutual discussion or are they a stronger application of force to make our dogs conform to our will without question or compromise? The problem here isn't about how our dog responds to our commands, the root cause of these issues lies in not understanding how to shift our dog's attention from the environment to us effectively & without brute force.

NOTE: the first video above shows this dog's reaction to her first introduction to a collar & leash. The footage shown of her walking on a leash outside, was taken the following day, not weeks later. "Dogs are simple, it's people who are complex. It's time to change the rules & return to simplicity."

Time varies for # of participants & comprehension