For one of my personal New Year's resolutions, I vowed to pick one word each day that I could use to provide insight to myself with daily reflection.
Well, I am challenging all of my students to pick a WEEKLY word for their Training Program reflections. Whatever word that you want. Just provide a brief description after the word as to why you chose it / your reflection.
This challenge ends April 15th and all participants in the challenge will receive an Awesome Paws reward!
My personal word today was: Conditioning - In behaviorism, we talk about conditioned responses, counter-conditioning, and many other fancy behavior modification techniques for what are normal, natural, species-specific behaviors. The majority of problems arise when humans do not realize what is actually normal behavior and then decide that those behaviors are unacceptable and need to abolished. When I speak with people about behavior, however, we do not speak about "fixing" behaviors, but of modifying them into more acceptable ones to fit into what we believe should be the norm. In the meantime, we also discuss that there is no 100% in behavior, human or otherwise. Outside factors must always be taken into consideration and we all have genetic tendencies. If we satisfy the more unconventional genetic behaviors with appropriate outlets, we can typically circumvent more problematic long-term habits. Living creatures are conditioned to repeat what gets a desired result. With the realization of my past failures and in avoidance and defiance of my own upbringing, I tend to try and avoid fear, pain, and anxiety-based methods of learning now. I cannot change others, but I can condition myself. With the uniqueness of the human condition, my sense of curiosity about modification, and the awareness of my own inescapable death, I want to live my life knowing that I did my best to do no harm. I want to leave a legacy that I can be proud of. So, I am conditioning myself to succeed.
I hope you all will condition yourselves to succeed as well!
CVT & Owner of Awesome Paws Academy