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What does being a life coach have to do with dog training?

12/05/2022 - Paws for Thought

Back in 2017 when I graduated from Plymouth University with an honours degree in social work I had a huge need to do something positive.
Social Work can be a really difficult profession and although ultimately an incredibly rewarding career for many people, you can find yourself in a position where you’re trying to help and support people who may not want your help or support, who resent your being there and who make it known that they feel you are and intrusion and an unwelcome presence in their life.  
I handed in my dissertation and left the university for the last time, knowing that I would never be a social worker, and that to regain some sense of ‘me’ and some positivity that I had to reignite my passion for working with people.  Whilst trying to find out how I could do that I discovered a course to become a Life Coach and enrolled on a L5 Diploma in Performance Coaching with NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), signed up straight away and…. LOVED it!!
It was an incredibly positive experience, and through out the course I build up a toolbox filled with practical skills and knowledge in how to encourage, support and champion people to identify and achieve their goals.
What on earth does all of this have to do with dog training?
As a dog trainer, my role is not to train dogs.
I need to know how to train dogs. I need to practice to ensure that I have the skills and mechanics to train dogs effectively. I need to understand how dogs learn, how dogs process the world, how they behave, how their genetics, upbringing, past experiences and learning history affect the individual dog in front of me.  I need to know how to motivate and get the best from each dog that I work with.
But I don’t train dogs.  I coach owners how to train their dog.
Coaching is a skill in it’s own right and I use the skills and knowledge that I gained as a Life Coach in every class and training session I run.