One of my favorite Cesar Millan concepts is energy. He claims that there exists a universal language understood by all animals -- energy. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a language, as the information that energy carries is not nearly as complex as a true language, but energy is certainly understood across animal species.

People and animals can sense the energy you project. Your dog's ability to sense whether you are feeling sad, anxious, happy, or excited is not really that amazing. Surely, you can sense another person's state of emotion without any words. Furthermore, energy is contagious. Have you ever felt yourself becoming more nervous only because the person next to you was very nervous? And conversely, have you ever felt calm and secure only because the person next to you radiated confidence?

One of Cesar Millan's mantras is that humans must project calm-assertive energy to their dog. If you are a nervous and fearful person, your dog will be too. If your project confidence, your dog will feel secure being under your leadership. Although the idea is simple, I find it to be the most difficult concept to apply. Just about anyone can apply the idea of click & treat, but who can really project calm-assertive energy all the time? Maybe a Buddhist monk.

Striving to project a calm-assertive energy is often times vague. Here is concrete example. In teaching Loki to drop a toy or a sock, I tried a little experiment. Instead of bribing him with a treat or pulling the object away, I decided to hold onto the object gently and slowly assert, "This is mine, not yours," over and over. Speaking it aloud is not necessary, but I find that it helps to convince yourself of the statement. It also greatly helps if you sit up very straight and maintain confident body language. Surprisingly, I find that this actually works. It's not a magic pill or a quick fix. It is abstract and not tangible in the way using treats or choke collars are, but in my opinion, it does work.

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