Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

My Blog


I Can’t vs. I Don’t Know How

Posted on November 23, 2015 at 12:51 PM
Good morning!  It’s a beautiful, cold clear day in Mt. Shasta, and I’ve been thinking.  (I do that sometimes.)  Here’s my thought for the day:
When it comes to struggles, whether in dog training or “real life,” there’s a difference between saying It can’t be done vs. I can’t do it vs. I don’t know HOW.
There are things that truly can’t be done:  I can’t teach Tinker to fly like a bird (she doesn’t have wings) and I can’t fly like a bird myself without the aid of technology.  There are real and genuine limitations to what can be anatomically achieved.  Some people do have truly unrealistic expectations of their pets—or themselves, or the world around them.  Most of us are pretty good, though, and spotting the not-so-subtle difference between “My dog can’t learn to do algebra” and “My dog can’t learn to come when called reliably.”  In theory, one of these is genuinely impossible and the other one isn’t. 
I can’t do it” also has some validity.  We’re all unique individuals with different abilities and anatomies, and so are our dogs.  Though there are many tall, athletic people who can slam-dunk a basketball on a regulation court without a ladder, I am not one of them.  I’m not running a 4-minute mile anytime soon, either.  Tinker will probably never be the fastest dog in the agility ring (though she’s likely to be, pound-for-pound, among the most powerful.)  We have limitations, of course.  Except… there’s a catch there, too.
If something isn’t out of the realm of theoretical possibility, a good quick test is:  how sincerely and how hard have we tried?   Plenty of us pop off with various forms of  It can’t be done without having made the slightest effort to… train the dog, change our eating habits, make an effort to exercise more or take any of the steps necessary to achieve the so-called Can’t.  We’ve assumed the door is locked without even testing the knob.
If we look closely at I can’t do it (even if other people can) often what we find is—I can’t do it THAT WAY.  If there was a ticking time bomb and the only way to disarm it and save the world was to slam dunk a basketball, give me a ladder or a cherry picker and I’ve got it.  Obviously, that won’t work in a pro basketball game—it’s against the rules—but in real life with a dog in the home, if you can’t do it (that way) there’s almost always another way, or many ways, to achieve the same result.  Finding a way that’s a good fit for you and your dog is the trick:  maybe you can’t do it (or don’t want to do it) like Joe-- but you can do it like Bill or Mary or Jill.
Which comes to the last:  we can’t do anything if we don’t know HOW.  We have to know HOW.   If we don’t know HOW, we have to learn HOW.  HOW is the series of specific, concrete actions we need to DO to achieve our goals.
I hear too much can’t in dog training.  My dog can’t X, I can’t Y, dogs can’t really learn behavior G with method Z...  Curiously—though not surprisingly—most of that can’t is coming from people who simply and truly don’t know HOW.
No one likes to look stupid or ill-informed.  It’s all too human for us to blurt out, “Oh!  I can’t do that!”  or  “No way, that can’t work!”  when what’s really true is—I haven’t got an snowball’s idea in heck how to do that, or how to do it with that method—I wouldn’t even know where to start.  I always did it like THIS and if THIS doesn’t work, it’s all I know so I can’t.
And therein rests the problem, of course.  Can’t is a slamming door, the end of a road before the journey has even started.  Can’t = No.  No action, no trying, no effort, no change.  No learning.
Instead of saying Can’t in all its flavors, I’d like to suggest that we rephrase it.  Try saying instead, “I’d like my dog (myself, my world) to do X and I don’t know how to get there.”
Saying I don’t know HOW is two things: 
1)  An honest acknowledgement of where we are right now:  whatever we are doing isn’t working and we feel stuck. 
2)  An opportunity to ask powerful questions.  Questions like:
            If I don’t know how, what do I need to learn?
            Is there another way this can be done?
            Does someone else know how?
            Who can teach me?
I see many wonderful dog owners who get themselves stuck.  They want the dog to learn to do X, or to learn to stop doing Y.  They try a few things—the things they did with their last dogs, the things they already know.   But their current dog isn’t like their last dogs, and somehow, for some reason, the good old ways aren’t working.
The old adage where there’s a will, there’s a way is a good one.  If we surrender to Can’t, we won’t act.  We won’t keep trying, seek new information or consider other possibilities. 
If, on the other hand, we consider Maybe I don’t know HOW?  we have a wealth of possible actions spread before us.  Getting more information, trying something new, exploring who does know and what they know and how we can use it in our own training… loads of things to do that get us out of stuck and back on the road to successful training. 
Have a beautiful day with your dog. 

Categories: Behavior, training, getting help

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply cheap kd 12
10:11 PM on July 25, 2022 
I not to mention my guys were actually digesting the nice advice found on your web blog and so quickly came up with an awful suspicion I had not thanked the website owner for those tips. Those young boys had been so thrilled to see them and now have without a doubt been having fun with those things. I appreciate you for indeed being really helpful as well as for settling on varieties of marvelous themes most people are really needing to learn about. Our honest apologies for not saying thanks to earlier.
cheap kd 12
Reply off white hoodie
5:42 AM on July 26, 2022 
Thanks so much for providing individuals with an extremely brilliant chance to read in detail from this website. It's usually so pleasant plus jam-packed with fun for me personally and my office friends to search your website particularly 3 times in a week to find out the latest issues you have. And of course, I'm so usually pleased with all the mind-boggling guidelines you give. Selected two areas on this page are completely the simplest I've ever had.
off white hoodie
Reply supreme outlet
7:41 AM on July 26, 2022 
Thanks so much for providing individuals with an extraordinarily nice chance to discover important secrets from this blog. It is always so useful and stuffed with a good time for me personally and my office mates to search the blog at a minimum 3 times every week to learn the latest things you will have. Not to mention, I am just certainly satisfied with all the gorgeous creative ideas you give. Some 2 areas in this article are definitely the most beneficial we have had.
supreme outlet
Reply golden goose sneakers
4:34 PM on July 26, 2022 
A lot of thanks for all of the work on this website. My niece really likes working on internet research and it's really obvious why. My spouse and i notice all regarding the powerful medium you offer very useful information via this web blog and even strongly encourage response from other people about this matter while my princess has always been understanding a lot. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. You are performing a wonderful job.
golden goose sneakers
Reply curry 6 shoes
8:41 PM on July 26, 2022 
Thanks for all your work on this website. My daughter takes pleasure in managing investigations and it is obvious why. I notice all regarding the dynamic manner you make efficient guides via the blog and as well as cause response from other individuals on this area of interest so our own child is now learning a whole lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the year. Your doing a pretty cool job.
curry 6 shoes
Reply yeezy 700
8:26 AM on July 27, 2022 
I am only commenting to make you know of the helpful encounter our girl found reading through the blog. She picked up plenty of things, with the inclusion of what it is like to possess an incredible helping mindset to get many people really easily learn about certain hard to do issues. You truly surpassed people's expectations. Thank you for delivering the necessary, dependable, informative and unique tips on this topic to Gloria.
yeezy 700
Reply kd shoes
5:43 PM on July 27, 2022 
I enjoy you because of all of the labor on this site. Ellie delights in carrying out research and it is obvious why. A number of us notice all regarding the dynamic form you give sensible tips via your blog and therefore cause participation from website visitors on the idea while our favorite daughter has been being taught a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the year. You're doing a very good job.
kd shoes
Reply yeezy 700
12:08 AM on July 28, 2022 
A lot of thanks for every one of your efforts on this web site. Kate takes pleasure in setting aside time for investigation and it's really simple to grasp why. Most of us hear all regarding the lively means you offer informative guidance by means of your blog and as well as welcome contribution from others on this point plus our daughter is always learning so much. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the new year. You're the one carrying out a really good job.
yeezy 700
Reply golden goose shoes
6:27 AM on July 28, 2022 
Thank you a lot for providing individuals with remarkably breathtaking chance to read articles and blog posts from this site. It's usually very nice and as well , full of a lot of fun for me and my office peers to visit your website a minimum of three times every week to find out the latest items you have got. And of course, I'm also at all times impressed with all the unique opinions you serve. Certain 1 areas on this page are without a doubt the finest we have all ever had.
golden goose shoes
Reply jordan 4
11:42 PM on July 28, 2022 
I must express my thanks to this writer for bailing me out of this type of scenario. Just after searching throughout the the web and obtaining strategies which are not powerful, I figured my life was gone. Existing without the solutions to the issues you've fixed through this article content is a crucial case, as well as the ones that could have adversely affected my entire career if I hadn't encountered the website. Your own personal training and kindness in taking care of every part was priceless. I'm not sure what I would have done if I had not encountered such a step like this. It's possible to at this point look forward to my future. Thanks for your time so much for this specialized and sensible guide. I will not hesitate to propose your web page to any person who needs recommendations on this subject.
jordan 4
Reply cheap kyrie 7
1:42 AM on July 29, 2022 
My husband and i felt absolutely fulfilled when Jordan could finish up his reports because of the precious recommendations he obtained through the blog. It is now and again perplexing to just be giving for free guidance that others have been making money from. Therefore we recognize we have the writer to give thanks to for this. The type of explanations you've made, the straightforward website menu, the relationships you aid to instill - it's many overwhelming, and it's really facilitating our son in addition to us consider that the theme is entertaining, which is certainly particularly mandatory. Thank you for the whole lot!
cheap kyrie 7
Reply jordan shoes
10:16 AM on July 29, 2022 
I needed to create you the bit of note just to thank you once again for the striking tactics you've shared in this article. This is really pretty open-handed with you to allow easily precisely what a few people would have supplied as an ebook in order to make some money on their own, and in particular seeing that you might well have done it if you decided. The tricks in addition served like the fantastic way to be certain that other people online have the identical eagerness really like my own to figure out a whole lot more pertaining to this issue. I'm certain there are several more pleasurable times up front for many who scan your blog.
jordan shoes
Reply yeezy
4:31 PM on July 29, 2022 
I and my guys came checking out the good ideas from your site while at once came up with a horrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to the web blog owner for them. All of the guys are actually consequently passionate to read through them and have now pretty much been having fun with these things. Appreciation for turning out to be considerably considerate and also for getting varieties of extraordinary information most people are really needing to learn about. Our honest apologies for not saying thanks to earlier.
Reply yeezy boost 350 v2
9:18 AM on July 30, 2022 
I actually wanted to send a remark to be able to express gratitude to you for all the superb recommendations you are showing at this website. My extensive internet look up has at the end been rewarded with pleasant insight to share with my two friends. I would declare that many of us website visitors actually are unquestionably fortunate to exist in a perfect place with very many outstanding individuals with beneficial advice. I feel pretty blessed to have come across your entire website and look forward to really more pleasurable minutes reading here. Thank you once again for all the details.
yeezy boost 350 v2
Reply cheap steph curry shoes
9:21 AM on July 30, 2022 
I would like to voice my admiration for your kind-heartedness in support of men who must have help on this area of interest. Your personal dedication to getting the solution up and down ended up being especially good and have all the time made people much like me to achieve their dreams. Your new insightful help can mean so much to me and a whole lot more to my mates. With thanks; from all of us.
cheap steph curry shoes
Reply cheap kyrie 5
9:21 AM on July 30, 2022 
I simply wanted to say thanks yet again. I do not know the things that I could possibly have created without the secrets revealed by you regarding this theme. It truly was a very fearsome dilemma for me personally, nevertheless taking note of a new professional style you solved that forced me to jump with fulfillment. I will be grateful for this work as well as wish you comprehend what a powerful job that you are doing training many others with the aid of your web page. More than likely you've never come across all of us.
cheap kyrie 5
Reply cheap jordans
9:22 AM on July 30, 2022 
I needed to compose you the tiny note so as to say thanks a lot the moment again relating to the pretty information you've discussed at this time. It was certainly pretty open-handed with people like you to give unhampered what some people could have offered for an e-book in order to make some profit on their own, precisely considering the fact that you could possibly have tried it in case you considered necessary. The strategies additionally served like the good way to be sure that many people have similar eagerness like mine to figure out more with regard to this problem. I'm certain there are some more fun periods ahead for individuals who start reading your blog.
cheap jordans
Reply yeezy supply
11:50 AM on July 30, 2022 
I would like to show thanks to this writer for bailing me out of this dilemma. After exploring through the online world and obtaining ideas which are not pleasant, I assumed my entire life was gone. Existing without the presence of strategies to the difficulties you've sorted out by means of the website is a crucial case, and those that would have in a wrong way affected my entire career if I hadn't discovered the blog. Your personal expertise and kindness in taking care of a lot of things was crucial. I am not sure what I would have done if I had not come upon such a stuff like this. I am able to now look ahead to my future. Thanks so much for this reliable and effective guide. I won't hesitate to suggest your web sites to anybody who requires recommendations on this issue.
yeezy supply
Reply supreme shirt
6:07 PM on July 30, 2022 
Thanks a lot for providing individuals with an exceptionally remarkable opportunity to discover important secrets from this site. It can be very pleasing and also jam-packed with a lot of fun for me personally and my office peers to visit your blog at least 3 times every week to see the new guides you will have. And lastly, I'm just certainly fascinated for the fantastic principles you serve. Certain 2 tips in this post are basically the simplest I have had.
supreme shirt
Reply off white jordan
9:59 PM on July 30, 2022 
I precisely needed to appreciate you once again. I'm not certain the things I could possibly have followed in the absence of the type of ideas discussed by you over my subject. It actually was a very scary scenario for me, but discovering your specialized fashion you handled the issue took me to weep for contentment. Now i am happy for the service and hope that you comprehend what a powerful job that you're providing instructing the mediocre ones through the use of your web blog. Probably you haven't encountered any of us.
off white jordan