Second Collar Training - Territory

A pup needs to own the space he is in, where as a human he usually needs to negotiate with it.

What that means is that as a person you would enter a room or location, and immediately you are defining what the purpose of that location is and what relevance or utility it has to you. As a human being you will share your locations with other humans almost always, and negotiate for the use and experience of that place. Still not sure what that means? Go back and look at your day - you woke up in your bedroom, used your bathroom, visited your kitchen, walked through your living room, traversed the public walkways to transport, etc. A pup doesn't name a room. A pup doesn't think of what each room is for. A pup focuses on owning the place or location. If he doesn't own it as a pup, then who does? He spends time working that out through scent and non verbal communication from those present. But most importantly, to be a pup you must change the way you enter rooms and places when in pup mode. For clarity we I will avoid the term pupspace as much as possible in this particular lesson so the term space can be used to refer to location or place in meaning rather than a mental outlook. 

There is a profound difference in approach to space as a pup from your human self, and it takes practice to embody that pup approach. As a person, you exist in human society, where you have to ask permission for things. Social rules are drilled into you from birth, and that is often a good thing. Yes, some rules are unhelpful and reflect mores of our ancestors that we no longer desire or need, such as chivalry or child labour. Many of our social rules are tied into the space we are in. What is appropriate here we ask our selves subconsciously and our human social experience gives us an answer from learning or we figure out a probable social decorum to abide by. Some humans are so hidebound and self restricting that they carry with them a high level of self imposed behaviours wherever they are, making them uptight and a pain in the arse and not in a good way. 

Every place is potentially yours to own

Your pup self does not have these social rules. All those human social conventions are simply not relevant to you as a pup. You enter a room or place and you are never a guest bound by convention. Every single place you go as a pup is a place you might choose to own by marking it as yours as you learnt in FCT Territory. As a pup you must learn to see humans as guests in your space, your "owned" territory, your turf. The way to do this is to focus on the space not on the humans. 

Humans operate with an egocentric viewpoint that they are the centre of the universe. Pups challenge that assumption by provocatively abandoning their humanity. Yet each pup is still a human being and that egocentrism remains in them. As a pup, you need to utilise that centre of the universe assumption to help you define and "own" your own turf. Wherever you are as a pup, you must think of it as potentially your place. The place you are playing in, the physical location you are inhabiting that moment as you are in pup mode, well that location and place is an entity to itself. You must think of the space as a living thing. You can respect it and interact with it, learn about it, and dominate or submit to it. The space has its own identity which you can discover and determine by exploration. 

Things will have a scent for you to react to with sounds

By focusing on the area and space you are in as a pup, you can perform more freely as a pup. It is conditioned into you to respond and follow cues from humans beings as to the nature and rules of a place. If you explore on all fours and focus on the space you can ignore the reactions of a human, helping your human self to be dormant as you learn about the place you are in. Your owner and trainer knows you need to do this wherever you go, and he will set limits and boundaries so that you don't place yourself in conflict with human rules of the place. Follow your owners words when he says don't pee on the police car!

To practice Second Collar Territory you must find some time alone. Begin in your bedroom. Set an alarm to go off after fifteen minutes from when you begin the exercise. Close the door and ensure its safe and private. Get into your pup gear, and then Kneel facing the door. Take a moment to relax and let your thoughts settle. Then move away from the door on All Fours and move about the room. Explore and see the room from a pups point of view. Make pup sounds, as you have learnt in SCT Voice, at the things in the room. Arf at some. Grr at others. Yip at some things. Maybe a chair is familiar seeming so you can Arf at it. Maybe a bed smells of sex or comfort so you can Snort at it. Examine the undersides of things.. Sniff everything, make sounds at everything. The shape, the smell, the texture, the position in the room - all of these things help you choose what sounds you make at what object. 

The exercise is not about behaving like or imitating a canine. It is about seeing that space that you are in for itself rather than as a human focused environment. Once the alarm goes off, stop the exercise and leave the room to get out of your pup gear. Each week find some time alone and do this exercise in a different room. Fifteen minutes can seem a long time for a small laundry of an ensuite, and not nearly enough time for a garage. Don't vary the set time, it's best to keep it at fifteen minutes, If you find yourself bored remember you can assert your ownership of the space. Look to where you might mark your territory.