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Raising a Dog as Leadership Training

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February 5, 2019

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Josh Jones

Dogs are very intelligent creatures who understand social relationships and hierarchy. They are team players.

Raising a pup/dog has some parallels to developing new members of a team, to the point that it may even help some people who struggle with leadership.

A dog is a reflection of their “parent”, just as a team member reflects their leader(s).  When you see an adult dog regularly and egregiously misbehaving, that means that the owner (even if they are well-intentioned) is not fully able to handle the responsibility of that dog.  When you see a dog who is happy and follows all instructions that their leader gives, that means that they have a healthy relationship and the dog respects the leader.

In the previous paragraph, you can replace “dog” with “team member” and “owner” with “leader” and have a similar effect.

Dogs respond well to very clear instructions when the leader teaches them correctly. They understand single words or short phrases. They do not understand long complex sentences. Similarly, new team members can be overwhelmed with information, but they will learn it if it is appropriately paced.

They appreciate and respect a strict but nurturing figure. It is very important to set clear boundaries with the dog in the beginning (with gentle but clear negative reinforcement when they don’t follow protocol), and reward them with positive reinforcement when they do things right (even if that is making you laugh!).

Most importantly, since a dog is a reflection of their owner, in a way they echo back whatever energy they receive. Remember to use lots of positive reinforcement when they do things right. Be good to them, and they will be good to you!

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