Overcoming Depression with Responsible Dog Ownership
My Promise To Myself To be a Great dog owner pulled me out of a depression
I started training my own dog by copying everything I saw on “The Dog Whisperer” TV show. I literally took notes as I watched TV and then tried to apply it to my dog. I also tested it on my foster dog and my friend’s dogs.
If they invited me over to BBQ or we went camping I was running around with the dogs half the time. What can I say? I’m a weird guy.
I didn’t know why I was so obsessed with working with dogs, but it seemed like the obvious thing to do.
When I was a kid our dogs were very poorly behaved. We were the neighbors with the dogs who never left the yard who were barking constantly. We got noise complaints frequently, and we had to chase our dogs down the street on a monthly basis.
We were the family who had to jump in the car to trick our Newfoundland Kuma and Springer Spaniel Flapjack to jump in. It was the only way we could get them home. Our dogs were crazy good at escaping through the fence to run free for a few precious moments.
As an “adult” with his first dog, I wanted to do things right and have the best behaved dog around. The trouble was I was taking bad advice from a roommate and my puppy’s potty training was getting worse. I had read a few dog training books and paid for some online video courses. This helped a bit, but without hands-on guidance I was still mostly winging it.
I was broke, so I didn’t have the means to hire a mentor. I could have fast forwarded my knowledge and results by several years if I would have invested the money back then. But it took me a few more years to learn that lesson unfortunately.
I was a young guy who liked to party on the weekends, so those Saturday and Sunday morning walks with my dogs were ROUGH! I never missed though.
No matter how hungover I was I still hopped on the bike and took the boys for a run or drove them over to Tanner Park for a short hike. We had a great time together and they never judged me for partying a little too hard haha.
They also never judged me for not being ready to grow up quite yet. I say that jokingly, but it was a therapeutic experience for me oddly enough.
I was coming off of a failed business, a bankruptcy, and a break up. But my dogs…
They could not have cared less. They still woke up every morning with all the enthusiasm of a 4 year old on Christmas day, every single day. They were a breath of fresh air every single day, and it was essential to pulling me out of the rut I was in. I put in the work every day, and they became great dogs thanks to my consistency.
Knowing what I know now I could have gotten far better results in far less time per day, but I have no regrets. They got me outside and moving which was exactly what I needed.
Instead of 1-2 hour hikes every morning and then a walk in the evening, now I get better results in only 10-15 minutes a day. Currently, I usually skip 1-2 days a week (shhh… don’t tell any of my current training customers. Their dogs are not ready to start skipping days yet.)
With the right mentors I have learned things that shortened the learning curve for my dogs and my customers by 99%! That is not an exaggeration.
I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I tried to figure out dog training mostly by myself for about 3-4 years. When I finally got wise and invested in myself, things really got fun! My business really started to grow quickly after that, and I became a junky for spending money on education.
The better I get at dog training, the more money I spend on dog training courses because the payoff is always immediate. My job is to make your life easier as a dog owner, and I make sure my team gets better at it every single year.
Well! That is exactly what you’d expect, right?
Sadly, many trainers get complacent or stuck in the training method they first learn. At Train Walk Poop, we provide the best dog boarding and training in Salt Lake City, including the top-rated dog boot camp in Utah. We never stop learning and continuously improve our training methods to deliver exceptional results for your furry companions.
I’m curious if you have you had to invest a lot of time or money to improve your professional skills? Or maybe for a hobby? Has that investment paid off ? Hit “reply” and tell me your thoughts or send me an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hit reply and let me know what you think…
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