Recently, a friend of mine wanted to gift her friend my puppy training services. When I discovered it was a 7-week old white english retriever, I was elated. There is something incredibly intoxicating about a “fluff ball of pure puppiness.” I walked into my client’s home expecting to see a tiny 7-week old pup playfully hopping around in an x-pen. On the contrary, this was not the case.
THE “HURRICANE” PUPPY
The owner greeted me at the door with this precious pup in her arms. The puppy’s legs were moving wildly as she squirmed about, clearly wanting to be put down on the floor. The puppy was gorgeous and I had to refrain from kissing it all over its beautiful clean white head. My client put the puppy down and I watched as it started to tear around the family room grabbing toys and playing wildly. Wow! For a 7-week old pup, this one had more exuberant energy than I had ever seen. One of the family members shared that they had nicknamed the puppy, “Hurricane”. Clearly, the pup was drumming up gusts of wind as it raced around our legs and the furniture. In this case, the puppy was out of control.
Therefore, I immediately started to quietly work with the puppy. I began a short, quick training session to capture attention and engage the puppy. She was fascinated with the opportunity to earn a yummy treat and was responding to the simple task of paying attention and “sitting on cue.” As a result, I was immediately impressed by the puppy’s ability to tune out her environment so she could focus on me.
I stopped briefly to discuss a few things with the family. I needed to discuss the important elements we would need to address in order to build a solid foundation for training. Consequently, they had not set up the house yet for the new puppy. She had full access to race around the family room as I was talking. I noticed that the puppy had a seemingly endless supply of energy- until suddenly she collapsed. She stood in the middle of the room, looked at all of us, and then dropped into a deep sleep…just…like…that! From zero to 100 to zero again. Therefore, providing us with a little reprieve to focus on core pertinent puppy development and training information to raise a well-mannered, behaviorally sound dog.
Upon leaving the home, I was thinking how grateful I was that the family was committed to putting in the necessary work to support and raise a puppy they would be able to enjoy both in and out of their home. This puppy was “busy”…until it wasn’t. She was either “all on” or “all off.”
ALL OR NOTHING
Subsequently, this got me thinking about people and how we can optimize our energy output for maximum results. In our fast paced society, it is easy to go from zero to 100. It is important to take a look at our daily pace and build a schedule that utilizes our personal energy patterns. We all have certain times of day when we perform our best. Thus, understanding our energy levels, brain power, food requirements, and sleep requirements can have a significant impact on our daily life experiences.
Like this puppy, I know plenty of individuals who are all or nothing people. They are either going full tilt or can’t seem to motivate themselves to take action. This can occur over the course of a day, a week, a month, or several months. The person goes hard, really hard, until they can’t. They either lose their enthusiasm, motivation, or burn out and lose interest completely.
Hence, to avoid this pitfall, here are some patterns to create for yourself:
- Pace yourself according to your natural tendency for peak performance.
- Schedule tasks that require focus and creativity during peak performance times.
- Build in breaks between your list of things to do.
- Drink plenty of water to keep your body and your brain hydrated.
Racing from one thing to the next depletes your brain power and energy reserves quickly. Think of everything in seasons. In any sport, it is nearly impossible to train at max capacity all year long. Similarly, it is very difficult to be a peak performer 24/7, 365.
Puppies will play hard and rest equally as hard. Above all, look at how you pace yourself. Assess how you recharge. Subsequently, time block important tasks effectively to take advantage of your naturally occurring, highly energized and focused state.
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-Author of Fur Covered Wisdom (International #1 Best Selling Book on Amazon)
-Woman of the Year (2017)- Women In the Pet Industry Network
-Top 25 Woman of Influence in the Pet Industry, PetAge Magazine (2015) ccc