At Horizon Hounds, I feel very strongly about my relationships with my dogs and choose to use positive training methods that build those relationships, show respect for my dogs, and honor them as individuals. Science and psychology support this sort of training philosophy as well. I don’t use any form of force or coercion, and I am constantly striving to improve my knowledge and understanding of my dogs. I feel that I owe it to them to educate and empower myself to be the best teacher I can be, so that I can teach my dogs what they need to know in order to live the most full and fulfilling lives possible.
My dogs work because that’s what they love, and they succeed because they are passionate about their jobs.
I try to connect daily with my dogs on a spiritual and emotional level; I seek to live in true peace and harmony with them. They are my teachers as well as my students. I have learned so much from them; I learn more every day; and I am eternally grateful that these wonderful creatures choose to share our lives with me!
Below are some excerpts I have found to inspirational and challenging:
“The Master doesn't try to be powerful; thus he is truly powerful. The ordinary man keeps reaching for power; thus he never has enough...
The kind man does something, yet something remains undone. The just man does something and leaves many things to be done. The moral man does something, and when no one responds, he rolls up his sleeves and uses force.
When the Way is lost, there is goodness. When goodness is lost, there is morality. When morality is lost, there is ritual. Ritual is the husk of true faith, the beginning of chaos.
Therefore the Master concerns himself with the depths and not the surface, with the fruit and not the flower. He has no will of his own. He dwells in reality, and lets all illusions go.”
-- from the Tao Te Ching, Chapter 38
“It seems to me that when force is used, the interaction ceases to be about the dog, and is more concerned with our feelings about ourselves. When we honestly like and accept ourselves, and admit that we are a work in progress, we are more likely to accept others. We forego the posturing intended to create an impression that may reflect something other than who or what we are…
A relationship based on respect and reciprocity meets needs more effectively, and more lovingly, than a relationship based on power and control. Respect and reciprocity create a framework of equality. The need for respect is a great equalizer, bridging the gap between and among species…
Status and dominance are actually two quite different things. Legitimate status – that which can be respected – has to do with accomplishment. Dominance, on the other hand, is about overpowering a perceived rival for access to preferred, and possibly scarce, resources. Dominance is about competition. Status is not about competition. Status is about competence, which earns respect from those who admire competence.”
--from Mindful Dog Teaching, by Claudeen McAuliffe