I am learning a lot about patience through my recent work with Baxter. I have wanted to modify his behavior to keep him calm when the next-door neighbors non-spayed dog is out in the yard at the same time. Whenever she comes out, he looses it and all the Zen that you thought was a part of him turns to crazy. An odd and unnerving sight.
Recently I have been spending much more time with him trying to quietly calm him and get his attention to focus on me rather than solely focus on a female hormonal conquest. It has taken some time, but he calms very quickly through positive reinforcement and encouragement in his behavior. Just today, I was able to call him from the house, have him focus and even sit down to calmly watch his friend just across the fence.
I am so proud of him and his ability to channel his energy and his focus for this monumental shift. Because of these modifications in his energy and his focus, Bradford calms easily following the leader of the pack energy. Although I am the alpha, Baxter is above Bradford and having that supportive energy really does transfer throughout the pack. It is so nice to see the rewards of patience, kindness and positive energy feedback.
This reminds me of how important it is to implement this in all kinds of situations in our lives. We tend to live in a dominant driven winner take all culture that does not allow time and positive energy to actually do the work for us. After all modifications in behavior or any training only happens with time, encouragement and belief that the individual can make the changes necessary.
Once again, my dogs teach me the importance of patience and love not only for myself, but also for others around me. I need to breathe this in as I enter a classroom, rehearsal, meetings and ever so importantly, my back yard.