Dog trainer Tamryn Fudge has developed a new approach to dog training and she’s bringing it to Clearwater next month.
The three-day Shamanic Dog Training Retreat, which takes place from Sept. 20 to 22, will help owners teach their dogs with a method focused on trust, mutual understanding and freedom, instead of the more common discipline or reward centered approaches taught by conventional trainers.
“Shamanic dog training is based on two fundamental shamanic principles. The first one is that everything is connected and the second one is that everything is conscious,” said Fudge, who’s been training dogs for 20 years and operates the business Infinite Dog Shamanic Dog Training.
“When I started shamanic studies about 10 years ago, learning these two fundamental principles, it started to really seep into my dog training; it’s changed how I handle my dogs and so that’s how I teach other people to handle their dogs as well.”
The consciousness element of the training is key because recognizing a dogs consciousness helps the owner connect with the pet and it allows them the freedom to think through the lessons being given.
This removes the need to correct the dog’s behavior and one doesn’t have to offer rewards to the pet either, because according to Fudge, dogs actually enjoy thinking and learning because of the fact they’re conscious.
Traditional dog training, on the other hand, has the owner teach the dog to perform systematic behaviors so they can be controlled in a given situation and this ends up being problematic because it doesn’t give the dog enough meaning and understanding about the situation it’s being trained to behave in.
“So when they get asked to perform these standard behaviors in situations where they’re feeling excited it gets more difficult because they don’t have a lot of support on how to process, understand or create meaning of the situations they find themselves in,” Fudge said.
“With shamanic dog training, instead of asking them to perform standard behaviors, it actually helps them learn to become critical thinkers, it helps them learn how to stay calm and centred within themselves, internalizing the capacity to be more calm and easy and level headed in more situations.”
The feedback Fudge has been getting from clients has been largely positive, especially because clients aren’t asked to create a separation between themselves and their pets as many other training methods require.
Fudge said many dog owners talk to their pets as friends, let them sit on the couch, and sleep in their beds, and while conventional training tends to discourage this behavior, shamanic training finds it to be okay.
“A lot of dog training discourages us from doing that and wants to keep a separation, but all my clients really love the closeness and the friendship we maintain while we’re working with our dogs,” she said.
“I’ve also noticed it’s very effective with aggression and behavior problems because it helps dogs learn how to stabilize their nervous system, handle more mental and physical intensity without getting so flustered because they’re learning how to cope by themselves in those situations, which means they can stay calmer, eliminating us needing to ask them to perform certain things.”
The Shamanic Dog Training Retreat takes place at Salmonberry Lane Bed and Breakfast beginning at 1 p.m.
For more information or to register contact Fudge at 250-573-1744 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org