german sherpherd dog

It’s not Me or the Dog, its Me and the Dog

Have you got to a singular thought of me or the dog

Many think that being a Behaviourist is about working solely with a dog’s behaviour, they think by just changing a dog’s behaviour then that’s the job done.

Well I am here to tell you that the dog’s behaviour itself only counts for a small percentage of the problem. The human motivation is the problem, the power to push past any obstacle, make anything happen and create a true relationship based on trust and understanding. So to really achieve this we need to look at the human motivation and what it is that motivates us.

First let’s define motivation; motivation it is a psychological feature within the brain that arouses us to act towards a desired certain goal. It elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal directed behaviors. It can be considered a driving force; a psychological one that compels or reinforces an action toward a desired goal. For example, hunger is a motivation that elicits a desire to eat. Motivation has been shown to have roots in physiological, behavioral, cognitive, social areas and may be rooted in a basic impulse to optimize well-being.

Conscious and unconscious motivations

Like any other species on this planet we have conscious and unconscious motivations. Unconscious motivation may be a cold evolutionary calculation; the conscious motivation could be more benign or even positive emotions. The idea that human beings are rational and human behaviour is guided by reason is an old one, but what we have to understand about human we have to build and give ourselves a reason to do what we do programming our conscious mind. The unconscious mind then follows suit and this then becomes what we call second nature.

Achievement motivation

So where does this all come into Dog Behaviour, this is where I personally think it should come into Dog Behaviour. Nearly 100% of the people that call out a behaviourist want to change their dog’s behaviour in some way, so by asking a simple series of questions we should be able to establish what it is the client would like to achieve. We should then set out a plan to help the client and the dog achieve these changes. Achievement motivation is an integrative perspective based on the premise that results shown in a simple easy to follow way and such short period of time by the behaviourist result in client motivation. A range of emotions are felt by the client that is relevant to success of the work which is being carried out with the dog’s behaviour.

Some are conscious emotions and some are unconscious emotions but all are integral to the motivation process. This process of showing people their visual picture, getting them to share their feelings and emotions, putting people through the process with their dog is the achievement that the human needs to motivate them to continue the process. The Achievement Motivation has repeatedly been linked with adaptive motivational patterns, including working hard, a willingness to pick learning tasks with much difficulty, and contributing success to effort.

Nothing in life comes easy, free or without effort but once it becomes second nature it is worth it.