The Humble Path to Wisdom in Dog Training

From Pride to Wisdom

Ever heard the saying, “If you’re filled with pride, you’ve got no room for wisdom?” As a dog trainer, I find this old gem rings especially true. Pride and wisdom seem to be like two magnets with the same poles, pushing each other away. But why is that?


The Pitfalls of Pride

Pride has a sneaky way of making us think we’ve got it all figured out. This belief can slam the brakes on our learning journey. In the dog training world, pride might stop us from trying out fresh methods, learning from slip-ups, or taking advice from fellow trainers.

Remember, a teaching-learning relationship goes both ways. If pride colours your approach, chances are, people might not be too keen to learn from you or teach you anything. A quote from the scriptures, Matthew 7:3 – 5, comes to mind:

Matthew 7:3 – 5: “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye“.

This teaching from Jesus reminds us not to judge others before examining our own actions; we cannot boast that we did not fall into their sin, seeing we fell into our own. Simply put, don’t be a hypocrite – keep your pride in check!


Making Space for Wisdom

When we let go of pride, we create space for wisdom. Dogs change and evolve all the time, and so should our learning. By staying open, we can continually become better trainers, better teachers, and, ultimately, better learners. We gather wisdom from every dog we train, every mishap we encounter, and every bit of advice we take to heart.


Humility: A Stepping Stone to Growth

Humility helps us accept that we’re not know-it-all’s, and that’s a-okay. In dog training, being humble opens us up to new techniques, strategies, and insights. Embracing the fact that we may not know everything could be the game-changer you and your furry friend need. Remember Albert Einstein’s words: we are free to make any decision, but we must face the consequences – even if it means stepping out of our comfort zone.


Recognising Different Kinds of Pride

Let’s clear something up: being proud of your skills and accomplishments is different from being blindly prideful. It’s fantastic to feel proud of your progress with your dog. However, believing there’s nothing left to learn – that’s where the problem lies. Ultimately, it’s up to you to make the right choices, learn from your errors, or choose to stay stuck.


Cultivating a Growth Mindset

To be a successful dog trainer, humility and an appetite for learning are your best pals. There’s always room for improvement – always! If you let pride take the wheel, wisdom might just decide to take a hike. But if you stay humble and keep your mind wide open, you’ll find endless possibilities for growth and learning.

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