In today’s episode, I am thrilled to catch up with Sarah Stremming of the Cognitive Canine. During this episode, we each share three life lessons we have learned from training our own dogs, working with clients and their dogs, and making careers of being behavior nerds. This conversation between us started when we were brainstorming our upcoming webinar series launching Tuesday, February 23rd called the Connection Summit: Prioritizing the human-canine relationship for successful behavior change! Register here today.
Marissa’s Top 3 Lessons:
- Noticing what triggers me emotionally is a great skill to have. It helps me get clear on how the environment affects my reaction. With this awareness, I can make several different choices that could have positive outcomes. I can notice how I am feeling and take a breath before responding. I can also proactively set up the environment to prevent a triggering situation from taking place.
- Noticing my triggers and being self-aware is a great skill but ultimately I can’t control many things that happen in my life. This is true for working with our dogs as well. Management plans fail and it’s up to us to develop recovery skills to get us through that hard time.
- Behavior is fluid and so are relationships. Being flexible to the things that take place in my life will allow for more flexibility when engaging with my dog and others.
- The podcast I talked about: Dump Your Inner Drill Sergeant Podcast
Sarah’s Top 3 Lessons:
- Move your body!! Getting out in nature has been a gift to both Sarah and her dogs. They both get what they need and have the capacity to move through life with more resiliency.
- Sarah noticed how her reactions affect her dog’s behavior, both in a positive and sometimes in a negative way. She used this knowledge to make new choices in situations, cultivating the responses she was looking for in both herself and her dogs.
- Communication is the cornerstone of all relationships. If Sarah did not get the outcomes she was looking for with her dogs, she did not assume it was the dog’s fault. Rather, she spent time trying to perfect her communication and training skills in order to help her dogs understand what she was looking for. She now does this the best she can in all relationships.