When people want help to change an animal’s behaviour they will often ask “How long will it take?”
Of course it depends on so many factors but I would also like to say that it’s best to let go of that thought.
I’ve heard it said that the space between where we are now and where we want to be is called stress, and that also goes for our relationships with our animals, especially when challenging behaviours are involved.
When we become fixated on a specific outcome we are no longer present. When we reject where we are now, it creates either a closed or a stressed feeling which we share with our animal partners. Our animals find it difficult to connect with us because we are not peaceful with the current situation. The choices we make in the present moment are the ones which create that future outcome that we so desire; wishing we were already there is creating the closed feeling which halts progress. So it helps to stay focused on where we are and what is needed in this moment, not where we would rather be.
That doesn’t mean we can’t have a clear intention about what we are going to do next – that is the next small step towards the future, but it’s only one step and it may not go in the direction we were expecting, so it’s important to remain flexible and open to where it may take us. This way we don’t limit our experiences and our progress.
When we can accept that where we are is where we are meant to be and can fully engage ourselves in the process and take the time our animals need us to take – we soften a little and the feeling we share creates space for trust and confidence to build.
Change rarely occurs in one jump – it happens gradually over time and at varying rates. Sometimes there is clear movement and sometimes it feels like nothing is happening, and then 6 months later you see that you are in a different place, but the increments were so small they were imperceptible.
The principles of the Trust Technique are Peace, Patience, Persistence and Purpose
Peace – of Mind
Patience – work at the animal’s pace
Persistence – keep being peaceful and patient
Purpose – remember why you’re doing this.