bulldog holding a ball

Obsession vs Focus

When obsession over takes the focus

When obsession over takes the focus then we have taken away the dogs natural awareness of the world around them. Many of us are totally unaware of the difference between obsession and focus as both states of mind are acted out in a similar manner by your dogs.The human definition of obsession is the compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea which is often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety. The definition of focus is the creation of a central point, an attraction or gaining the attention.

Many dogs are bred with an ingrained obsessive nature; many are trained or allowed to become obsessive. Unfortunately this can result in irrational and hyperactive behaviour.

Obsession limits their ability to see things around them, process what the true activity represents and cause them to ignore you when it truly matters. When we train or allow obsession we are nurturing a mental addiction and like any addiction, it can lead to an extreme and unbalanced behaviour.

Focus on the other hand requires your dog to concentrate on a central point, the discipline is to avoid or ignore distractions but be aware of them at the same time.  While it is good to create ourselves as the central point, if other activities or distractions are not of equal importance then in essence we have become their obsession.

Recognising that we are important in their life and they should do as we ask is one thing but maintaining that through obsessive type training or nurturing is another.

We should be looking to improve their mental focus and their ability to concentrate on the task or activity by creating calm not irritation emotions or hyperactive behaviour.

There is an extremely fine line between obsession and focus but once you learn to recognise the difference I guarantee you will always choose focus.