First Collar Training - Communication

As a pup you want to engage in honest and open communication with your Owner and Trainer. Speaking up about what you want and need will get you a better outcome. You will want to relate to your Owner and Trainer in such a way that you don't deny anything for him or yourself.

Training to be a pup is not about your master or you getting your own way and only engaging in fun and self indulgence. Training is about learning and developing, becoming more knowledgeable and skilled. You have to recognise that you are in charge in of your own behaviour. You have to acknowledge your thoughts on what you experience and do and what you desire, honestly and sincerely. 

A pup enters training for his own reasons, and it is best to to be honest about them right from the start. Your Trainer won't expect you to automatically give in and submit to anything and everything. Both pup and Trainer listen to each others wishes and consider them .

The bond you form with your Trainer and Owner is precious, and vulnerable. You both bring openness, love, companionship, and support to the Pup+Owner relationship. Yet it can be damaged foolishly. Mistakes, accidents, and misunderstandings can and will happen. Keeping the bond strong and healthy requires skills you can learn. As a pup you must develop this most important skill, which is the ability to relate healthily to your Owner and Trainer. That skill has three essential components: 

  • ask for what you want
  • say no to what you don't want
  • negotiate conflict and differences without damaging the bond and relationship

In conversations and dealings with your Owner and Trainer, pay attention. Whenever you find anything ambiguous  or you feel uncertain of where you stand with your master, then ask questions like this:

  • - how are you feeling Boss? Are you doing okay?
  • - how are we doing Sir? Are we okay?
  • - how are things between us?

At moments like this it is important for you, the pup, to pay attention to your own needs and feelings as you discuss things with your Owner and Trainer.

Is there anything you are thinking and feeling that you are holding back that should be communicated to Sir?

If there is, take a moment to think about how to say it in a way that preserves the good relations with your Owner and Trainer rather than create tension.

To reiterate, the relationship between pup and Owner and Trainer is a two way street. It consists of two people trying to get what they want and need. Sometimes pup and Owner and Trainer want and need the same thing, and the whole scene flows easily. When different things are needed or wanted, or when one side is after something the other doesn't want to give,  it is important for both pup and Owner and Trainer to abide by this process:

Both pup and Owner and Trainer must

  1. - know what they desire from the pup play encounter and be honest about it
  2. - ask for what they desire
  3. - pay attention to what others are saying they desire. If it's not being said, make an effort to find out by asking
  4. - if needed, compromise so that you can give what you can of what the other person wants
  5. - if needed, negotiate so you can get at least some of what you want

It is wrong to think that a pup has no control or input into what happens in training and pup play. Control is relative. Despite the set up of pup training an Owner and Trainer can't truly control and determine a pup behaviour. Only the pup can. It is by teaching and instructing that a Trainer gets a pup to listen to him and respond positively  A pup then consents and learns to behave in more effective ways to get what he wants too from human pup play.