“We should not be trying to change dogs, but celebrating what they are and changing the world in which they live.” – Kay Laurence
Our Pearls of Wisdom this month come from one of the world’s top trainers, Kay Laurence.
Kay lives on a working farm in England almost a mile from the closest road. People and dogs regularly visit from across the world to benefit from her wisdom. Our DogLogic team of instructors has been fortunate to benefit from this wisdom by attending her seminars and regular presentations at Clicker Expo. Kay has been teaching, writing and training dogs from her UK based home for more than 35 years.
Of herself Kay says,
“I have a background in dog sports, working, and pet-dog training. While working dogs carry their own respect since they have a “proper job” pet- dog trainers are often referred to as “just” pet-dog trainers. I consider pet-dog training the foundation and the most important dog training, because it affects every dog, every day.”
“Every Dog, Every Day” is the title of Kay’s latest book. It is well worth the read!
“When we are working with an animal our own needs can direct our choices and decisions. We focus on outcomes and the end goal, which commonly revolves around us. The dog that no longer causes discomfort when pulling their leash, the dog that instantly responds to our demands, the companion that understands our lifestyle choices. But for that learner, for that animal, what is happening now and how it makes them feel is what matters the most. That is their reality. Do they understand, do they want more than the next treat; do they want to be with us or have they no choice? For decades trainers have been engineering time saving processes and hard-selling them as ideal solutions. What they are missing is the life-breathing element that evolves from the process. The reflection of joy and connection from a time-invested process that leaves your learner enthused. It is never replaceable with quick fix solutions. It takes thoughtfulness to plan how to make the learning experience one of pure pleasure, even in the elements that are challenging. It is so much more than just delivering treats or toys. Our companion animals want to share a part of us, the very best they can draw from us and it is this demand that ensures we grow, as companions to them and as their teachers. It takes intelligence and intuition to seek out solutions that carry the mark of deep practice, skillfulness and evidence of a body of work that aligns with our own beliefs. We see the culmination of thousands of hours of practice, exploration, cold fingers and slobbery clothes. But we also see those bright, shiny eyes reflect our passion for teaching, learning and connecting with another animal.” – Kay Laurence.