Updated: Mar 21, 2021
We base our work on the crucial fact that Dogs are capable of feeling emotions, taking decisions and learning from experiences.
Like humans, dogs are gregarious animals and manage the coexistence of the group through communication: they have specific communication, tools, and codes to live in harmony in their social group. They can live, resolve conflicts, reproduce, develop, and educate their cubs without human intervention. In free-range dogs communities, the younger learn from interactions with the group members, through experiences and references, they naturally close the needs in each development phase.
Our job is to observe their way of doing, to learn from observing what mature and realized dogs do. Also, to watch their development phases and make a gentle adaptation to the dog-human coexistence, since they live in a human environment.
Therefore, we have to start by not underestimating the dog's potential capabilities and committing to a path with values such as respect, empathy, honesty, and trust. This is the dog way.
Picture courtesy of Fer Galindo in Pixabay
Values in our canine education approach
Respect: means understanding that they are different species, not underestimating their potential capabilities and seeing the value in your dog. Importantly, respect your dog by understanding and satisfying their needs and emotions.
Empathy: Understand the dog's position and needs and make concessions.
Always try to understand their emotional universe.
How does your dog feel and how they live in all situations?
Honesty: Like any other relationship, this one requires honesty to be sustainable.
Your dog is honest, 100%, always. Review your feelings and what is your contribution to the relationship; be ready to make improvements.
Trust: Ask yourself these questions: Do you trust your dog? Does your dog trust your criteria and follows you in consequence, or he doesn't have a choice? Is the relationship based on trust or based on control?
With its values and pillars on canine education, this philosophy was passed on to me by three outstanding canine educators in Spain who founded Tartaruga: Jordi Herrera, Nicolas Planterrose and Albert Vilardell, who have compiled all in a great book which is available in Spanish and Catalan. I had the privilege to attend their Canine Education Course in 2020.
As they say: "We should learn more and teach less."
Also, I have had the privilege of learning from and being supported and inspired by other colleagues and great educators, in alphabetical order:
César, a dear friend, who also got his training with Tartaruga and was the first to introduce me to this marvellous world of canine education and put me on the right path some years ago, he doesn't have a webpage. Still, he is a pro in canine education in Madrid, and I definitely can facilitate his contact to whom could be interested.
José Miguel Castillejo founder of La Brújula Canina http://labrujulacanina.com/, Jose is a great professional with high communication skills, who is always up to date with regards to the scientific approach to canine behaviour while he is continuously looking at dogs from the emotional management perspective.