First Collar Training - Body
As a pup, you live and exist inside your human body. As much as you can create a pup persona in your head, you still reside in that very non canine body. You should enjoy being in your body, and be intimately aware of it. Your body is your friend not your enemy. Having feelings of negative body image are baggage you need to drop, along with many other human worries, when you enter pupspace. You must not only train your mind to be a pup, but your body as well. Your physical being needs to act effortlessly as a pup, so that your body responds emotionally and fluidly as you are in pupspace in your mind. If you carry baggage about your looks into pupspace you can become mechanical and soulless.
More than a hood or tail or suit, your body is your most important piece of self expression as a pup. To begin with your First Collar Body you should follow instruction and trust your Owner and Trainer to guide you through a quick self image assessment. Stand naked and relax. Calmly examine your body, look yourself over everywhere you can. Be kind in how you think of yourself pup. Remember your lesson in FCT Interaction to abandon judgement to help you at this point. As Ru Paul says - "what other people think of you is none of your business". So smile and take pride in the parts of your body you like. Love and respect the body you inhabit. With the things you don't like - if they can be changed with self-discipline and effort then do so. Otherwise you really need to just accept peacefully what you have. For that you can't change, to worry about it is to waste your time and everybody else's. Your duty as a pup is to be healthy, have energy and vitality, and have enthusiasm - not to be perfect, There is no standard of beauty as a pup. Save that for human thinking and society where you will get that every day. Listen to your Owner and Trainer as you receive positive feedback and regard.
Part of your training will focus on physical movement to express your pup self. Your body will be expressive and help create and manifest your pup self. Pup training will educate your body to respond to the needs of pup play. It is a long process to do so, but as you train each week you will improve and it gets easier.
In First Collar Training of the Body we begin with the spine, which is at the core of your body's movement. The shape and position of your spine also conveys non verbal messages to those looking at you, as you are beginning to learn from FCT Behaviour. Quite simply a bent and curled up spine expresses your submissiveness whereas a straight and stretched spine expresses your confidence. Before you do anything with your spine though, remember that all exercises with your spine MUST be done GENTLY, not ever with force. Stop any movement exercise immediately if you experience pain.
Begin on All Fours. You will do the following movements in a calm and smooth manner. Never jerky and fast movements as you don't want to be a pup who looks like he has a nervous condition after all. Now begin by arching your back as high as you can, like a cat. Raise your head as high as you can and stick your tail in the air. This should make the deepest hollow you can in your middle back. Once you have this position, slowly raise your middle back and lower your head until your back is level, straight and flat, and your neck is in line with your spine. You repeat this arching and curving exercise slowly and surely, gradually increasing speed but never going too fast. The aim of this exercise is to make you aware of your spine and its expressive use.
The second exercise you will do is one that will help you build your spines strength and flexibility It isn't hard work, just a gentle exercise which will strengthen the spine by using it. This exercise is a simple version of a sit up. You sit on your mat, with your legs spread slightly apart. Then begin the movement by letting your body fall gently forward, in a slow and relaxed manner, till your spine is curled and your head resting forward near or on your knees. Take a breath, then slowly uncurl your body until you are upright again. While you are now seated upright as you began, wag your head from side to side gently for a moment. After this you take a few seconds to breath deeply again. Then imagine your spine is melting from the bottom and it is causing you to fall backwards slowly, until your spine is flat on your puppy mat. You repeat this exercise a number of times, gradually becoming quicker and smoother, but never rushing.
Your spine is your foremost tool of self expression as a pup, and the preparation you do to learn to control it early in training will be invaluable later on.