Picking Up Teachings from the Dog WhispererPosted: May 25, 2011
I have a new habit: Every Wednesday night, I sit in front of the TV to catch the Dog Whisperer. It’s one of the animal-oriented reality shows in National Geographic. The two-hour-long program showcases the various dog dilemmas of owners and the techniques Cesar Millian, the dog whisperer, uses to rehabilitate their pooches.
Sounds lame, right? Not really. Cesar has a different philosophy when it comes to changing dog behavior: he, most of all, deals with the owners.
So for the past two Wednesday nights, I just don’t end up entertaining–and often surprising–myself. I learn a lot of valuable lessons, which, interestingly, can be used in human relationships.
You radiate energy.
Whether it’s negative or positive, you give it off. Depending on what you give away, the creature will either be submissive or aggressive, happy or sad or even angry. I bet it’s the same thing with humans. That’s why we’re always advised never to hang out with toxic people and to put a smile on our face whenever we can because it brightens up someone’s day.
You have to be a leader.
When it comes to pets, you should be the leader, the boss, the dominant among the pack. Otherwise, he’s going to pounce, run away from, and hurt you like there’s no tomorrow. You’ll have no choice but to give in to your pet’s every whim, and no amount of pleading–and screaming–can help you change his behavior.
Comparing it to human interaction, there are times when we need to be decisive, stand up for others, or be firm with our decisions. Sure, we can listen to other people’s pieces of advice, but in the end, it’s what we think and believe that matters.
Discipline is one of the fundamentals of life.
A lot of owners know how to care and love their pets. Only a few know how to discipline. It could be because there’s always that nagging feeling you may end up physically or emotionally hurting the pet by doing so. The truth is the right kind of discipline always stems from abundant love and care. You want your pet to be really good, so you reprimand him once in a while.
I was one of those who weren’t spared the rod, and though it took me a while, I was able to understand its importance. It helped me become a more disciplined person. I learned to respect, obey rules, and set good standards for myself.
It takes a lot of practice.
You don’t change an aggressive dog into a submissive one overnight. It takes weeks or even months. But you’ll get there if you simply practice.
I like to relate this to changing habits. Though some succeed in changing cold turkey, few don’t. Unless you make that one bold move today, though, you cannot hope for the change you want.
I don’t know what other life lessons this show is going to bring me, but you know, I’m excited. It may also just help me face one of the biggest fears in my life: dogs.