Your actions speak louder than any of your words ever will.
What is a good “pause”?
A good pause is time spent enjoying the moment with the company you are in….not watching, not pining for some intimate moment, not judging, not evaluating, not planning your next move/request (or the rest of your day for that matter). Set aside your hopes and aspirations and be present in the moment. Enjoy the space you are in. Be grateful for the company you are with. Soak it in. This is actually no easy task for many people….time is limited, rushed, and often overbooked. It is not easy to be fully present when precious minutes are ticking by, and life’s deadlines are closing in. Many people (trainers included) are so consumed with the things they want to teach and work on, that a true pause is never felt. What you need to know: it is important, and it is as good for our well-being as it is for the dog. It may take a surprising effort the first few times to really set aside what weighs on you and just enjoy the world around you (in good company of course!). Animals will help you tune this skill, as they are drawn to this kind of energy. If you’re having trouble, try reading (getting lost in) a good book. Soon you will easily be able to go back and forth between pauses, life, and training.
The quality of any given pause in training is far more important than the quantity and duration. A short genuine pause will go a lot farther than a long insincere one. What happens when we take the time to pause like this, is the building (and reinforcing) of a bond. A bond based on unconditional love. Pause often in your life with animals. Also make it a point to pause sometimes without treats. In this way, YOU can come to understand that your company is powerful and meaningful. If you have multiple dogs, make time to spend time pausing with an individual one on one (away from the other dogs).