Reflecting on Our Bond
Which is worse – living with the problem or dealing with it?

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In this month’s reflection, I am speaking specifically to those of you living with behavior issues. You are aware of (although perhaps not very familiar with) the Way of Life Method, but for whatever reason, you haven’t started applying its principles and practices. You are drawn to the method. You can see its power and even imagine the potential it could have – and yet you hesitate. 

My background is in management and organizational behavior, and one of the big themes of this field is organizational change. It is necessary and at the same time very challenging. Both people and organizations are reluctant to change. But there are ways to think about change that help us welcome it and reap its rewards.

Let us first understand why we often resist changing things, even to help our dogs. You might worry about making matters worse or fear confusing or upsetting your dog. You might be concerned about spending money for a poor return or trusting someone with your beloved dog and then having them harm your companion. Recently, I heard of someone who was holding back from seeking training for his aggressive Bichon because he was overwhelmed by the conflicting messaging in the dog training industry. Who can blame him?

But which is harder: living with the problem or fixing it? Living with behavior issues is hard on everyone. Anxiety, reactivity, and fear take their toll on dogs, families, and entire communities as they deal with the daily frustration of walking the dog, the constant arguing with family members on how best to deal with things, and the inability to go anywhere or have people over. That’s what’s difficult. And let’s face it, behavioral issues have a way of getting worse – they don’t just go away over time. 

The Way of Life Method is not difficult, but it is different – different from mainstream thinking – and yet deeply in sync with what dogs want. The dogs resonate with the method and respond quickly, reinforcing our confidence in the process. So take a moment and reflect on which is harder for you – living with the problem or dealing with it.

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