By Sylvie Lamoureux
Member of the Association of Naturopaths
Quebec Professionals (ANPQ)
June 28, 2019 — Recently, my friend’s 11 years old daughter has not been feeling good. Elie was unhappy and very grumpy. Her mood swings having a strong impact on her relatives, she has been roundly criticized for her attitude
This beautiful, bright, and intelligent child overreacts to situations she does not control. Like any human of integrity, it is normal to react to annoying events. This is especially true for an 11-year-old whose brain performs at an above-average level.
I was wondering how to help her. It was obvious to me that her relationship with the adult world, as well as her perception of authority and rules would be jeopardized, if we did not listen to her existential distress now.
After a while, I had a stroke of genius which happens on occasion. I allowed her to attend one of our dog training sessions. This is a typical activity in preparation of a series of planned dog shows.
The winning conditions were in place for this activity to be a success: a dog with overflowing affection; a sensitive young girl who only wanted to love and be loved; maintaining a strong concentration and focus on her four-legged partner, as well as the formation of a team to achieve a relationship (with the animal) focused on love and victory.
Canine handling is based on an essential premise, which is to learn to trust and trust each other, and then to manage pressure and stress during dog shows, where dogs are judged. The key to success is to revisit the tiniest detail and achieve perfection. The motto of this sector of activity is: “We will succeed together. In that respect, we will be happy and proud to have achieved this goal. »
I decided to challenge the young girl. I did not know what to expect on the first lesson. Would she master the tasks to be carried out? Regardless of the outcome, I knew she was a courageous and tenacious girl prone to do good. I must say that things changed dramatically in the second lesson. She already mastered the concept of “working as a team” with a dog. She quickly grasped what needed to be done to succeed. So much so that this beautiful girl improved quickly.
She listened and followed all the recommendations made by her coach, even daring to tell me what was wrong with the other young handlers. Now she knew the meaning of “performance” and “persistence” and where they stand in the recipe for success for a happy life.
A young girl with potential
Chaos leads to chaos. On the other hand, stability brings stability. My champion handler and her fantastic four-legged partner are now in the competition ring. And they put on a good show! Her learning process is not yet complete, but the future looks very promising. Elie wants to continue to work well and succeed. I had the privilege of discussing with her after every competition outing, thoroughly analyzing all her moves. She also demonstrated a great openness, genuinely concerned to do a good job with her canine partner. Obviously, dog and handler want to please each other.
Now, I strongly believe that she will be able to translate this success into her daily life, to grow harmoniously and become a well-rounded adult. What could be better than learning how to win in life? It is by learning from our mistakes that we become a better person.
In other words, showing great discipline in dog handling, together with the respect given to the dog, build the personality and lays the essential foundations for any individual wishing to be a good citizen.
No need to be sitting in a classroom to master this form of learning. The knowledge is acquired with hands-on training. Provided you are guided by a coach who understands what happens inside an 11-year-old mind: This young girl, with high intellectual abilities, needs to be understood to function more effectively in a world that feels so strange to her!
In DOG We Trust!
This text has been adapted by François G. Cellier
Translation by Stephanie Rondeau
Photos 1 and 2: Courtesy (Sylvie Lamoureux)
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