The American dog whisperer Cesar Millan works with a formula that every dog owner who wants a friendly, balanced dog has to follow, in his opinion. It consists of three basic principles:
In that order. So first you have to make sure your dog gets all the exercise she needs, then you have to discipline your dog (set rules and stuff like that) and after you have done all this, you should give her affection. The exercise part is for the body, discipline is for the mind and affection considers the heart, he writes.
I think it is nicely said and he probably did a lot of thinking to put a complex subject like this into three simple words. But from a dog’s perspective he is not entirely right. I would translate this formula in three different words, meaning different things. This is my formula:
I will explain this. When you have a dog and you want a good relationship with her, you will have to work together. Of course this means exercising, but there is more to it. You don’t just walk her every day for one hour (with her on the leash and you chatting to other humans), but you go out on Adventures together. You have fun. That is how you get to know each other. You won’t need to set artificial rules, because you will learn what works best for both of you while doing it. It is a natural process! Having fun together builds a strong relationship. It is a matter of the body and the mind.
Companionship is about the mind. When you and your dog truly understand each other and you have a strong bond (because you have adventures!), you will be true companions. She will protect you and comfort you in times of sorrow, you will feed her and give her shelter. You will be a real team.
Love (and respect) is what comes from fun & companionship. When you do all of the above, your dog will love you and you will love your dog. That is a matter of the heart. Although we dogs do not distinct body from mind and heart, in our opinion they are one and the same.
When you follow this formula, you will not only have a balanced dog, but a friend for life. That is worth some effort, isn’t it?