A trusting relationship is an essential element of teaching and learning. This playful video compares learner trust to a bank account.
A few thoughts on the role of Trust and domestic animals.
For pets, at least one bond of trust is essential to have a relaxed, happy-go-lucky, animal living with humans. In fact this is one of the differences between wild and domestic animals. Wild animals do not trust humans, nor do they trust that the environment is safe, secure and will give them what they need to survive. They learn to be much more alert to survive and be ready for daily challenges. Through 2000-10,000 years of husbandry, domestic animals have changed there genetic code toward domesticity. Animal science defines domestic as tolerant to the presence of humans. Of course it means more in real life because they rely on us to supply food, water, shelter and daily activity.
We expect more of our Pets than simple domesticity. We want them to live with us seamlessly, anticipate & fulfill our needs, understand the human language, entertain us, love us and leave our stuff alone. -If only they could do housework — better than a wife.
But there is a huge gap between what animals tolerate at birth & our expectations that they understand the complex world of human society. We don’t even understand how to get along with others until in our middle twenties or much later.
Today we react to words like – “Dog Obedience”, and have misconceptions from family beliefs, movie & TV images which together confuse the subject of dog training more. “Dog Obedience”it is an unfortunate, old label and complete obedience is hard to create. Instead, think about training as teaching methods for our pets to successfully navigate life with humans. We are entrusted to teach our pets to be good civilized members of our human society. The AKC has new program of training called Good Canine Citizen instead of the old obedience name to promote this idea. The Good News is that when Dogs understand us and succeed in getting along they form a bond of trust to their training partner.
These two capacities; 1. knowledge of how to succeed and 2. bond of trust, enable pets to handle frustration and recover quickly from bad-events. This capacity is called Resiliency.
It is through helping pets to develop resiliency, that we prevent or treat the anxiety problems seen in dogs, cats, birds even horse and cattle. Good trainers preserve and increase the bond of trust with their dog(s) through consistent training that rewards the dog for learning.
Check out my article on “Kennel training: Why do dogs or puppies bark and cry when left alone” for more on resiliency.