There is a little game that many people play, not just with their dogs but with life, I call it the “see what happens game”. This is where people aren’t sure of the outcome but they progress anyway. This really leads to disaster because we, as humans are built to help ourselves fail.
Let me explain it with this example: –
You have a dog that at times can become aggressive, you have stepped up the training a little lately and you think that Boomer is ready to be tested. So you are walking Boomer down the street and you see a man walking his dog along the road.
You gear up and start heading his way to “see what happens”. As you approach this man with his dog, you’re trying to get a good look at the leash he is using; will that leash break if his dog lunges at mine? Will he just drop the leash when we get close telling me his dog is friendly? Will he erupt with a mouthful of abuse if Boomer is aggressive?
All these negative thoughts change the outcome, here is how.
The see what happens game can only come out one of two ways, Good or Bad. A mathematician given only that information will come up with the percentage of 50/50. Now only one chance in two is far from a good ratio when it comes to training aggression out of your dog, so I can tell you that you’re not going to win with this program but, is the percentage really 50/50?
Think of this little story, you decide that as it is your birthday in two weeks, you’re going to buy yourself that new Red phone you have seen your friend with, only two weeks to go. You’re very excited about it and off you go about your day.
You leave the house and say Hi to the postman; you notice he has one of those shiny new RED phones! You go about your walk to work. You stop at the crossing only to notice a lady standing next to you with the exact same phone you want to get, that red one! Wow they are popular!
Over the next two weeks whilst you wait for your birthday to roll around, you meet dozens of people who have these red phones, you see TV and magazine ads everywhere, you cannot believe how popular these phones are!
Now you wake up on your birthday and your best friend has bought you a new phone, it is a different brand and model than you were going to buy, and it’s black. It is better than the red one you wanted too!
Now all is good on your birthday and you head off to work the next day, with your new phone, you arrive at work and show everyone your new phone. At the end of the next two weeks you find an article you had torn out of a magazine that you saved about that red phone, you think to yourself “oh I had forgotten about that phone” and you also wonder why in the last two weeks, you have not seen one person with one of those phones? But in the two weeks leading up to your birthday, they were jumping from everywhere? Why?
There is a section of our brain called the Medulla Oblongata, this section of our brain heightens our awareness to something we feel will happen, good or bad.
So it seems that in psychology, if you think something will happen, it is a lot more likely that it will. How often have you experienced these types of thoughts? We all do it!
Now let’s get back to walking Boomer toward that man with his dog, do you really think you will have a 50% chance, or will it be much less…
Playing the see what happens game is worse than Russian roulette, the chances of winning get slimmer and slimmer…