Maike Nowak’s book, She Who Dances With Wolves, altered my view on communicating with dogs greatly. Here’s a passage from the book that I wish I could put on a banner and run through the city with:
“If you survived a plane crash with a group of other people, through some kind of miracle, and landed in a jungle, you wouldn’t choose the person as your leader who is known to make bad decisions, who screams around the loudest, or the one who is the nicest. Not even the strength of a bodybuilder or the intelligence of a psychology professor demonstrates the ability to be a good leader. Surely, your group would choose the person who remains the calmest and makes the right decisions for everyone in the group. This is a person you could trust to continue making good choices in the future.”
– Maike Nowak
In the end, it’s a simple concept: stay cool, make good decisions. Okay, not that hard… except it is… all the time.
I always remind myself of this quote when I train: who would I want as a leader? So why am I using my voice so much? Why am I using my leash more than my body language? It’s a constant check to become the leader we want.