Whether you’re an athlete, a concert pianist, a business person, or professional dog trainer, if you are going to be great at what you do, and live the life you’ve always wanted to live, you must become a person of discipline. The great Tom Landry said, "The job of a football coach is to make men do what they don’t want to do, in order to achieve what they’ve always wanted to be.” Well, most of us do not have coaches pushing us every day to succeed, so we must push ourselves.
"To discipline means to instruct a person or animal to follow a particular code of conduct, or to adhere to a certain "order.” Self-discipline refers to the training that one gives one’s self to accomplish a certain task or to adopt a particular pattern of behavior, even though one would really rather be doing something else (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).” Discipline makes the difference, and self-discipline is the key. William Penn said, "No man is fit to command another who cannot command himself.”
So whether you’re a professional dog trainer, or just a regular dog owner hoping to learn a little about teaching your dog to obey a few specific commands, in order to discipline your dog, you will first have to discipline yourself. It has been said that "what we do upon some great occasion will probably depend on what we already are, and what we are will be the result of previous years of self-discipline.” So, here are six keys to self-discipline:
First, Forget about the past. Often, past failures keep us from taking any new risks. We grow weary of failing and even become afraid to fail, thus we refuse to even try. But, being a person of discipline requires that you forget about past failures, and move forward with the resolve that this time WILL be different.
Maybe you have tried to train a dog in the past and failed. Maybe you have tried to train your dog, only to grow frustrated and quit. Maybe some other dog trainer has told you that your dog is "untrainable”. Forget about that. At Crimson K9 Dog Training, we can teach you how to train your "untrainable” dog, and we will help you along the way. We will encourage you and instruct you. And best yet, we will show you that your past is irrelevant to what you can accomplish today!
Second, Focus on what you want to achieve. What are your goals? What do you hope to accomplish with your dog? Keep that in the front of your mind. Steven Covey, in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says we should "begin with the end in mind.” That means before we jump in, we know what we want to accomplish, and as a result, we stay focused on that goal throughout the process.
Third, Find someone to take the journey with you. Training your dog can be a rewarding experience. But it can also be a very draining job. Find someone to take this journey with you. It doesn’t necessarily need to be someone else who needs their dog trained. It can be a friend or a family member. At Off-Leash K9 Dog Training, we are ready to partner with you, helping you along the way. We not only provide families with professionally trained dogs, we offer our support throughout your journey.
Fourth, Fight off any negative thoughts. Avoid pessimistic people, and find people who are positive. Hang around them. There’s an old saying: "Birds of a feather flock together.” You become who you hang out with, so choose wisely.
Fifth, Fix your schedule so it works for you, not against you. Your dog needs a routine that he can be comfortable with…and so do you. John Maxwell said, "The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” How you use your time determines whether or not you shine. So, organize your schedule in such a way that you don’t forget to work with your dog. The goal of dog training is that your dog will have a change in behavior that is satisfactory to you. This is most possible when you stick to a routine, and use your time wisely.
And sixth, Finish what you started. Don’t give up. Although it will be difficult from time to time, it’s worth it in the end if you will stick it out. Legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, noted, "The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
Have you ever heard of a company called Traf-O-Data? Most people haven’t. It was started in 1972 by two men. The two ran the company for several years before throwing in the towel. They gave up. But they went on to start another company that has done pretty well. That company? Microsoft. The two men who failed the first time around? Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Calvin Coolidge said, "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”
You can have an exceptionally well trained dog. All you need is discipline…and us!