"We don't expect this sort of robotic, one way dictatorship in other relationships..." Meet Dogminded's Jenny Efimova, KPA CTP

School For The Dogs Podcast - Dog Training & Animal Behavior with Annie Grossman  show

Summary: <p>Before she became a dog trainer, Jenny Efimova was working human trauma survivors for a living. Her job involved being empathetic and meeting people where they were. It wasn't immediately obvious to her that a lot of the lessons she'd learned at work could be applied to someone in her home who was suffering: Her dog. Her young rescue, Larkin, was increasingly afraid to go out on walks in her neighborhood. The first professionals she worked with told her she was the issue: She wasn't “confident” enough with her puppy, and he thought he was the boss.  It didn't feel right to her, and the suggested methods didn't work. In fact, they felt like they were making matters worse. Then she started working with a trainer who explained how to use positive reinforcement in training, and it was a behavioral game changer for her and her dog Larkin. This led her to become a certified dog trainer herself, through the Karen Pryor Academy. Today she trains online and in Brookline, MA. She also runs an Instagram account <a href="http://instagram.com/dogminded" target="_blank">@dogminded</a>.</p> <p>Annie and Jenny discuss the challenges that come with cultural expectations of how both dogs and dog owners should behave. They confront the popular idea that if you are not a stern leader with your dog, you are spoiling them, and consider whether there has been any cultural shift in changing the conversation about what it means to be a compassionate dog owner. They also discuss how interspecies relationships and examining our expectations of our pets can help us learn to be more humane and compassionate in general.</p> <p>Learn more about Jenny at:</p> <p><a href="https://www.dogminded.training/">https://www.dogminded.training/</a></p> <p>Follow Jenny on Instagram: <a href="http://instagram.com/dogminded" target="_blank">@dogminded</a></p> <p>Follow School For The Dogs <a href="http://instagram.com/schoolforthedogs" target="_blank">@schoolforthedogs </a></p> <p>---</p> <p>Partial Transcript:</p> <p>Jenny Efimova:</p> <p>We don't expect this sort of robotic one way dictatorship in other relationships, but with dogs, for some reason, there's this expectation that there are these behavioral outputs, and that they have to do everything we say, and they have to behave in certain ways. And that any behavior that is inconvenient or troublesome for us has to be eliminated. And that there's not room to say, Hey, this is actually a sentient being. I'm gonna treat their behavior with the same courtesy I would treat the behavior of anybody else.</p> <p>So it's this kind of bizarre dynamic which isn't actually natural for a lot of people, because all the people I work with love their dogs tremendously. We know that there's research showing that people who lose their pets often grieve those losses more than they grieve losses of people in their lives, right?</p> <p>The relationships people have with their dogs and their pets are profound. We currently, I think, don't have the language and the norms in our culture to really honor that. And I think dog training as a whole falls really behind in that regard. Because what people really want is to have a joyful relationship with their dog. And at this point, I think a positive reinforcement based approach is what allows that to happen in the most compassionate way.</p> <p>[music]</p> <p>Annie:</p> <p>Jenny I'm so eager to talk to you, happy to have you on the podcast. I have followed you on Instagram for quite a while, and I feel like I kind of know you in an Instagram way. And I'd like to know you in a real person way. But this is the interim, I guess.</p> <p><a href="https://www.schoolforthedogs.com/podcasts/episode-204-we-dont-expect-this-sort-of-robotic-one-way-dictatorship-in-other-relationships-meet-dogmindeds-jenny-efimova-kpa-ctp/">Full Transcript at SchoolForTheDogs.com/Podcast</a></p> <p><br></p> --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/dogs/message Support this podcast: <a href="https://anchor.fm/dogs/support" rel="payment">https://anchor.fm/dogs/support</a>