NEWS

Regular updates from the APDT

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

3 days ago

APDT - Association of Pet Dog Trainers

This post reminds us that behavioural change can take a while and it's important to celebrate the sometimes tiny successes along the journey.

What behaviour change are you celebrating this week?We live in a world of before and afters. Before and after weight loss! Before and after makeover! Before and after home remodel! These images fill our social media feeds and marketing reels. They are striking, exciting, and yes, reinforcing. They make us feel good and give us hope and a glimpse into what’s possible.

What they don’t give us, however, is the full story of what it took to get there. What they don’t show us are the million and one excruciating steps between the before and the after. They make it appear that progress is just one finite “after”, a destination we reach once we check all the boxes, go through all the steps, and follow all the rules. They can skew our perception of reality and pervert our sense of time.

In truth, progress is a slow and gradual build. It’s a wave that ebbs and flows. It’s a cup that fills slowly, sometime imperceptibly, drop by drop, until one day we look and notice that it’s fuller. Progress is an ever-evolving story and progress is never linear. The before and afters are just one single snapshot in time.

This is important to remember when it comes to working with our dogs, especially when our dogs struggle with fear or reactivity. We don’t measure progress by the absence of behaviors (or reactions). We measure it by the change in their frequency, intensity, duration, and our dogs’ tolerance and recovery over time.

Is your dog reacting less frequently, to less triggers, in less contexts? Is your dog’s threshold increasing? Are your dog’s reactions less intense? Does your dog recover quicker? Is your dog able to re-engage with you sooner? Is your dog’s comfort increasing?

These are just some of the things we can be noting, tracking, and measuring over time. The answers to these questions will vary depending on the day, the context, the environment, and how your dog is feeling. We share our lives with living sentient beings whose behavior doesn’t come with “results guaranteed or your money back.” They will have good days and bad days, just like us. And this is OK.

So celebrate your successes. Celebrate all those tiny imperceptible steps between the before and the after of today, because tomorrow they will look different. Hold each tiny step close, acknowledge how far you’ve come, and give yourself some credit. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your dog. You both deserve it.
... See MoreSee Less

This post reminds us that behavioural change can take a while and its important to celebrate the sometimes tiny successes along the journey.

What behaviour change are you celebrating this week?

Comment on Facebook

Archie was able to walk past a (stationery) cat this week only about 10ft away AND he spent almost 5 minutes walking off lead and recalling EVERY time I called him ❤️❤️❤️ (4 years ago he arrived with no recall and convinced that cats were snacks)

Load more

Registered at Companies House number 11212860