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K-9 Ranch Training Center- Boulder, Colorado

Rhythm

Posted by Jennifer McCarthy on January 13, 2010 in K-9 Ranch Training Center- Boulder, Colorado, Nature / Colorado, Speak! Archive, Training & Behavior Tips, Yellowstone National Park Wolf Expedition

In order to be come joined up or linked in with a connection to animals, think of your favorite drum beat. When I used to compete in tracking competitions, I learned that while laying my track, if I stomped my footprints into a rhythm, the dog would follow the track better.
If you can walk you have rhythm- anything that moves has this concept. Think of skiing for example. Once you get going on some runs- you get a feeling of being in synch to something greater. This is a energy connection and it happens with animals too. If you have done any sport- running, horseback riding, tennis, surfing- you can get into a certain flow. Now, imagine that same feeling and beat running with your dog across a field- after a while you both join to a rhythm… a central beat like one heart.
This is what I have seen in nature. When I watch deer run, I can feel that. Take it back to when we were hunters… Running along side buffalo on a horse under your feet. You have so many heart beats in one continuous pace. Your heart rate elevates at being in this wave of continuos energy as does your horse’s and the buffalo.
Rhythm is the essence to being wild. Wild wolves, horses, elk, etc. use their feet in a beat. I encourage you to discover this with your own dog. Feel what it’s like to go off the beaten path where people don’t frequent. If you are in a city, try alley ways. Put on your ipod and synch into some upbeat music with a paced rhythm. You can walk or run but go for a while. As your dog starts to tire a little, you will reach a point where you both are linked in. Like horse and rider, this is an equal relationship. Pretend you and your dog are living on the plains and searching for food. You are now teammates- equal partners. You can achieve this equal plane competing in dog sports too as well as watch it on TV when handlers move a dog around a show ring. Watch how they move & watch the dog handlers movements. The good ones can feel this common bond and connection to a greater energy flow. True horse whispers are also very knowledgeable at this concept though they might not be aware they are doing it.
I have learned this living with the wolves and from growing up as a competitive horseback rider. I have run through the aspen groves after rabbits with the wolves- sifting back and forth through the trees. They were faster than me but we both were on the hunt. I see the same thing up in Yellowstone when the wolves move the herds… Testing and prodding to find the weakest link, their tails are raised in heartbeat and anticipation- they are bonded on the highest level- one heart beat, one rhythm… Hunting to a drum only they and the elk can hear.
The highest form of bonding you can do with your dog is on the walk or on the run. Movement together resembles that primal urge going back to our ancestors who hunted with the wolves. Even the tiniest chihuahua still has these natural urges.This is why I am such a huge opponent to not using treadmills. It is an “easy out” for modern society to not take their animal for a walk.
If you are disabled, etc. their are certainly instances for it but I just think it’s one more way man is separating himself from nature. There are no shortcuts in the wild but rather, basic laws and principals that everyone lives by. If you are out of shape, your chances of getting eaten are even higher. I have only known this from being on the food chain myself.
I can’t expect a wolf to respect me unless I am physically capable of showing strength and attitude. They have to know if they challenge me over a piece of food, I could very well win. I eat my food in front of them and guard it till the ends of the earth.
All of these concepts were taught to us by the Native American culture however it may be only until now that we are capable of hearing them….

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