Three Dimensional Dog

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I enjoy working with and training my dogs.  I’ve read a ton of books on dog training and attended several different training schools with my dogs.  However, the book “Three Dimensional Dog” by Aaron McDonald is different from anything I have encountered up to this point.

It was eye opening and changed my entire approach to dog training.  While I was reading the book, I was wondering why didn’t I think about these issues.  It seems so obvious now.

The first part of the book explains the differences between trick training and cognitive behavior training.

Most dogs are trained to perform an action for a treat.  The training is focused only on the outer behavior of the dog.  This is known as trick training.

Cognitive behavior training looks at the whole dog.  It addresses the inner mind and emotions of the dog and uses that information to teach the dog how to live peacefully within the family unit.  The three dimensional approach to dog training is based on cognitive behaviorism.

The first dimension that needs to be addressed is the dog’s emotional needs.  Does the dog feel safe and have appropriate boundaries?  Are the dog’s physical needs being addressed?

The second dimension is concerned with what the dog is thinking.  Before a dog does anything they will develop an intellectual plan.  Paying attention to the dog’s body language will tell you how the dog is feeling and give you insight into what the dog is thinking.

The third dimension involves action.  It is everything the dog does with their body.  This is where traditional training methods actually start.

Addressing the dogs physical, emotional, and intellectual needs will allow the dog to reach a state of actualization.  Also, focusing on the three dimensions help the dog achieve a balanced emotional state.  This allows the dog to reach their fullest potential and be a functioning member of the family unit.

Go Ahead – Make Mistakes

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Humans are not perfect beings and we all make mistakes.  Making mistakes can be good.  It’s how we learn and gain experience.  Knowing how to deal with mistakes can improve your emotional well-being and outlook on life.

When you make a mistake:

  • Admit the mistake and accept responsibility
  • Learn from the mistakes
  • Make amends if necessary
  • Don’t dwell on the mistake, move forward

 

Emotional Turmoil – Physical Exhaustion

The past few days were full of emotional turmoil.  I visited Mom, while she was at the hospital.  I saw her with oxygen tubes in her nose.  I saw her struggling to recover.  I worried about the prognosis and the seriousness of her medical conditions.  I knew she was suffering and I couldn’t do anything about it.

The emotional strain left me physically exhausted.  Each night I slept more than the night before, but I still woke up tired.  I tried not to focus on future possibilities and only deal with the daily issues.  However, I found my mind wondering into the unknowns of tomorrow.

My body and my brain seemed to be slowing down.  I would stare mindlessly into space and felt like there was an invisible force pushing against me, which prevented me from accomplishing as much as I should each day.

The emotional turmoil of the past few days caused physical exhaustion.  However, Mom is home now and I am hopeful that she will fully recover.

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Video Games Are Good for You

According to the American Psychological Association (Feb 2014, Vol 45, No 2, Pg 10), playing video games can be good for you.

Video games can:

  • Improve cognitive skills, such as reasoning and memory
  • Improve problem solving skills
  • Improve your mood

When I spend a day playing video games, I am not wasting time.  Actually, I am enhancing my cognitive abilities, improving my emotional well-being, and saving the world from killer zombies.

Sounds like a win-win to me!