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iN VIDEO: Shamanic dog training? How a Kamloops trainer found a new approach

Tamryn Fudge at Infinite Dog Training will be hosting an off-leash workshop on Sunday, May 26, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Tamryn Fudge

KAMLOOPS — Tamryn Fudge has been a dog trainer for two decades and over time she’s learned traditional obedience training could only teach her dogs so much.

That’s why when she started shamanic studies in her personal life to help with anxiety, she started incorporating it with the canines that she trains.

“Shamanic dog training to me incorporates two things; one we are all connected and everything is conscious,” she says. “If I know my dog is conscious, it actually changes the way I work with her and actually opens up more possibilities.”

Fudge says even with her own two dogs — which she describes as clever and independent pups — she was still having trouble stopping her dogs from scrapping with others.

“These dogs were perfect in their obedience. So traditional (obedience) training would teach how to sit, stay, down, heal and come,” she says. “Those are great, but they are limited because if your dog is excited, emotional or feeling intense, performing those tasks are difficult for them.”

Instead, Fudge teaches dogs and their owners how to stay calm by working together.

“If we work from the perspective that our dogs are much more capable, more open and more intelligent than we realize, then we can draw on that a lot more,” she says. “I want to teach dogs how they can naturally make their own decision on a regular common basis.”

And for owners trying to change their own patterns, Fudge says it starts with their attitude.

“I noticed I am more helpful when I stay calm, kind and loving,” she says. "I'm more helpful when I don't get mad or try and to tell them how naughty they are."

For anyone looking to get a better understanding of what Fudge offers, she will be hosting an off-leash dog workshop class on Sunday, May 26.

“Off-leash can make a lot of us uncomfortable because that means we are giving up a lot of predictability and that can be quite messy,” she says. “So with this workshop, it’s really to help us build together some really practical tools that are helpful, easy and really work.”

And it won’t require weeks of practice either, she says.

“These are skills that you can use in the moment when things are messy,” she says. “We are not looking for perfection where you have to go practice for half an hour each day.”

The dog owner says when she first started switching over from traditional training to shamanic training, it was a difficult transition.

“Being different can make it look like you’re not doing it right,” she says. “But I started to realize the more I demanded perfect performance from my dog, the more difficult it became because I have always had difficult dogs.”

Fudge says when she learned to let go and work in partnership with her dog, the easier it became to train them.

“It took me a while to make that transition,” she says. “Now I’m happy, I call myself the upside down dog trainer or the opposite dog trainer.”

In her experience, Fudge says she’s found dogs and people both like the type of training.

“I think this is the way people want to live with their dogs but we don’t have the tools yet because most traditional dog training doesn’t expect that our dogs can learn at this level,” she says. "(This training) gives you and your dog access to more life together to do more together.”

For more information go here.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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