Curb the Chaos

During these unprecedented times in our lives, we are faced with unimaginable challenges, to no fault of our own. To overcome these challenges, we must dig deep and find the strength and courage to move forward.

Humans are social creatures, so “social” or “physical” distancing is difficult and feels abnormal. However, physical distancing is necessary as we fight this highly contagious coronavirus. As we take necessary precautions and physically distance from each other, we should not lose connection with each other. And we should not lose connection with ourselves.

To stay connected with others, we are encouraged to use technology. (If they could, our social doggy friends would definitely use technology to bark with their buddies.) To stay connected with ourselves, we are reminded to focus on our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. We need to remain strong and stick together, even though we cannot touch each other.

We had the great fortune to hear Dr. Sue Varna, CBT Psychiatry, speak about mental health during times of crisis. Below is a link to Dr. Varna’s explanation of the “4-Ms” in mental health: mindfulness, movement, mastery and meaningful engagement.

MSNBC – Dr Sue Varna

In the spirit of the 4-Ms of mental health, we will focus on calming the chaos in our lives during these uncertain times. Our goal is to provide feel-good stories through all types of online resources, all of which can be shared with your loved ones, especially your pups.

We have so much at our fingertips. And while our fingertips are prohibited from touching others, all-hands-on dog petting and loving are highly encouraged. If you have the great fortune to have a beloved pup, you are blessed to have your very own mental health therapy dog right at your fingertips. And if you don’t, now might be the best time to adopt. Dogs save lives.

~ For the Love of Dogs ~

Kathryn R. Gubista, PhD is an evolutionary biologist, college biology instructor, former zookeeper, author and certified professional dog trainer with Lucky Dog Training Asheville. Please follow us on Instagram @TrainingLuckyDogs and @KyloRenPup. Please contact us for more information at TrainingLuckyDogs@gmail.com or call us at 828-423-9635.

Insight in 2020

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020. The start of a new year is a time for reflections and resolutions. Why? Many want to make a fresh start and possibly change for the better, in some way or other. They want to improve themselves, often times seeking good health and happiness. BTW, we highly encourage including your pup in the quest for better health and happiness (see Source of Motivation below).

Hindsight is 20/20

New year resolutions often fail, which is curious. The human species is ego-centric in nature, so this should be an easy task. However, resolutions are not easy to keep. In fact, most fail at or even totally forget their resolutions. Why? The small, baby steps needed to successfully achieve a specific goal are often not part of the plan. A successful strategy is always based on taking small, baby steps.

Hindsight Foresight Insight

Successful achievement of goals requires a combination of hindsight, foresight and insight. Success is achieved when we learn from the past (Hindsight) to plan for the future (Foresight) and develop the right strategies to take appropriate action now (Insight). We live in the present – the Now. Insight is our ability to connect our past lessons to our future dreams and develop the best plan of action – a strategy for success.

Hindsight – Lessons from the Past

Hindsight is the ability to understand something only after it has occurred. You know the old adage – Hindsight is 20/20. It allows us to not only recognize past mistakes, but also learn from these mistakes. Hindsight is the ability to recognize and learn from past mistakes. Remember, mistakes are not failures; they are opportunities for growth. Recognizing and learning from mistakes allows for better decision-making strategies in the future.

Foresight – Plans for the Future

Foresight is the ability to correctly predict what will happen in the future. Foresight allows for developing plans of action needed to achieve certain goals. Hindsight allows for recognizing and understanding obstacles. It also allows for plans to overcome any future obstacles to success.

Insight – Actions in the Present

Insight is the ability to recognize and understand all the small steps needed to achieve a big goal. It allows us to piece everything together (past failures and triumphs) to successfully achieve a desired goal. Insight recognizes the small, baby steps that are the foundation to a viable plan of action.

Plan of Action – Baby Steps

Do you want to be a happier, healthier you in 2020? Do you want shed extra pounds? Build strength? Increase your cardio endurance? If so, start with little baby steps to get started and stay motivated. Break down your workout routines into something that is attainable. Recognize the baby steps you can take to be successful each and every day.

Example of Baby Step Approach

If you want to increase your cardio endurance, don’t expect to run 3-miles on the first day, especially if you do not run at all. That is a recipe for certain failure. Instead, start with small increments (baby steps) to ensure your success. For example, start with a 5-minute walk/run. You should be successful on day one and know that you can easily increase your endurance over 5 minutes. Maybe add an additional minute each day to push yourself. Use a workout app to track your progress. Continue increasing your time walking/running until you reach your own personal limit.

Recipe for Success

By using baby steps, you will allow yourself to succeed. Maybe the most you can ever do is a 15-minute cardio walk each day. If so, focus on your daily successes! At the end of the year, you can look at the big picture. Your 15-minute workout will result in exercising for over 90 hours in the 2020! That is a huge accomplishment for someone who wasn’t working out at all. And, just imagine if you exercise walk more than 15-minutes a day. Great success!

Source of Motivation

If you need some outside motivation to keep you going day after day, look no farther than your faithful doggy companion. They love and benefit from your daily, 15-minute workouts. They will be healthier and happier! Maybe that is your ultimate goal, but your dog makes your walks/runs incredibly unpleasant. They have no leash skills and yank you every which way. If so, we would love to help you turn your leash-pulling dog into your best workout partner ever. And, your dog will become an outstanding source of motivation to keep you healthier and happier each and every year.

Kathryn R. Gubista, PhD is an evolutionary biologist, college biology instructor, former zookeeper, author and certified professional dog trainer with Lucky Dog Training Asheville. Please follow us on Instagram @TrainingLuckyDogs and @KyloRenPup. Please contact us for more information at TrainingLuckyDogs@gmail.com or call us at 828-423-9635.

 

Happy & Healthy New Year

It’s that time again! Time for our annual New Year’s Resolutions. Many of us make promises at the beginning of each new year to change and/or improve our lives to be healthier and happier. We start off with the best intentions and stay committed to those resolutions for days, weeks, maybe even months. But in the end, many of us fall short.

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Science of Dog Training Video

Evolutionary Approach to Dog Training

To truly understand dogs and how to train them, it is important to think outside the Skinner Box. Of course, a clear understanding and proper applications of Learning Theory is fundamental to sound dog training. However, psychology is NOT the only scientific field that applies to dog training. Far from it. Continue reading

The Dog Walk Challenge

New Year’s Resolutions

Once again, we find ourselves at that time of year. We pay homage and bid a sweet adieu to the past year, and simultaneously, ring in the new year with hopeful anticipation that our lives will get better. What happened in the past is now fact and cannot be changed, be it good or bad. What we can change is our future course. We have the power to determine and change our futures. We make New Year’s promises to change our lives, but almost always find these new-found resolutions fail miserably. Why? Because we plan for the future but forget to live in the NOW. Continue reading

Healing & Heeling the Dog Within

Asheville, NC is a bastion of alternative practices and ideas. To add to this vibrant alternative community, a local veterinarian and a biologist/dog trainer are joining forces to present Healing & Heeling the Dog Within, a series of educational talks on a favorite topic of many – DOGS! Continue reading

Doggies at the Diamond

⚾ Take Them 🐕 Out to the Ballgame! ⚾

On Tuesday, 23 May 2017, the Asheville Tourists are inviting dogs to attend Doggies at the Diamond. Game time is 7PM. A coupon for the event is available at Patton Avenue Pet Company. Our therapy dog Cognac will be heading out to the game to practice her training skills and enjoy the fun. We take every opportunity to practice training skills in all types of unique situations. We encourage any dog training students to attend the game Tuesday to cheer on the Asheville Tourists, practice their training skills and enjoy the fun! Please note that it will be extra challenging because untrained dogs will be in attendance too.

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Value of Trained Dogs

Are Dogs Limiting or Liberating?

Do you believe life with dogs is limiting or liberating? Does your dog give you more freedom to do what you want to do? Or, does your dog get in the way of your freedom? Granted, if you are a big world traveler and away from home for long periods of time, a dog may not fit your lifestyle. Other than being a world traveler, does your dog limit your freedom or liberate you to be more confident to achieve your goals, no matter how simple or complex? Continue reading

Leash Reactive Dogs

Is Your Dog Leash Reactive?

Not certain what that means? If your dog pulls, lunges, barks and/or snarls at dogs or people while on leash, your dog is leash reactive. This is one of the most common complaints about dog companions, and potentially one of the most dangerous. Leash reactivity is becoming a serious problem because someone typically gets hurt. And these are not isolated incidences, but repeated problems. Often times, each incident involves multiple people and/or dogs in one fell swoop. Reported human and dog injuries include sprained, torn and broken arms, legs, wrists, ankles, fingers, tendons, ligaments along with the all too frequent and yet completely avoidable dog bites.

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For the Love of Dogs

 Happy Valentine’s Day 2017!

Today is the day many shower their loved ones with roses and chocolates to express their eternal love and affection. Even many lucky dogs are the recipients of their human’s love and affection. However, roses and chocolates are not the appropriate gifts for dogs. Did you know that chocolates are toxic to dogs because of theobromine and caffeine? Moreover, rose thorns will damage the delicate lining of your dog’s mouth. So what should you get your faithful canine companion to express your love on Valentine’s Day or any holiday? You will probably be amazed just how easy it is to please your lovable pup. Continue reading