Each day at the Dog Psychology Center we started the morning with a pack walk. It was a daily ritual that put us all in the right state of mind. The dogs loved the exercise and the people found it as a way to connect with each other. We traded off dogs and assisted each other with techniques. I’ve never seen such a big group of people look so upbeat and enthusiastic in the morning.
Prince, the German Shepherd was a dog with A LOT of energy to burn. Cesar showed us how to drain some of his energy by letting him do what he was bred to do, herd. At first he went in the paddock with Lorenzo, the llama and later in the afternoon he was taught herding basics with a flock of sheep. Prince enjoyed his new job and settled down nicely that afternoon.
Each day Cesar started us out with lecture and demos in the classroom. He used humor to get many of his points across. Again, instead of telling us the answer to our questions, he presented us with basic fundamental points and asked us questions so we could discover the answer on our own. Everything from reactive dogs to socialization to raising a puppy were covered. He even told us a lot about his personal life and how he arrived at his present day situation. He was very real, not an uptight celebrity, but an extremely generous man with a very positive attitude. He spoke about his climb from the bottom to the top, his attempted suicide, and his recovery back to the top. It was emotional and inspiring.
The DPC was a magical place to be. I know that sounds corny, but it’s true. It was amazing to see these dogs who were at the end of their rope, (no pun intended) be able to function once more as happy, stable dogs. It was a place of transformation for people as well. Some people were frustrated with their dog’s behavior, suffered from PTSD, or just needed to understand their dogs better. Each day when we left the center we felt rejuvenated, empowered, and ready to take on the world.