Some advice from Steve Mann, IMDT

Steve is the founder of the Institue of Modern Dog Trainers which I am honoured to be a member of. I joined the IMDT 4 years ago and am now in the very fortunate position for help with training the new trainers who attned courses and assist with assessing prospective new members. It’s one of the highlights of my year working with the IMDT team.


Steve recently offered some advice to dog trainers and I’ve posted it here with permission.

‘Head down, bum up, get on with it!’ – Buddha.

Realise that the criticism is often from people less informed than you
Every, EVERY Dog Trainer that has ever existed started out as a rubbish Dog Trainer
Every good Dog Trainer knows they need to improve
They don’t build statues of critics
Don’t beat yourself up for caring
Smell the roses.
How do you celebrate what you do well?
(it’s not always about ‘next’)
‘wash the dishes to wash the dishes’ – Venerable Master Thich Nhat Hanh
(basically means be in the moment and give 100% concentration and appreciation to what you are doing now. Don’t race ahead in your mind to the next job or concern yourself with what others might think or do in the future)
If you can do something about it, do it, then you have nothing to stress about.
If you can’t do anything about it, why is that stress on your ‘to do’ list?
Do you genuinely have endless *quality time to worry?
(*ALL time is ‘quality’!)
(the answer is “no”!)
Don’t compare yourself to anyone else
What does successful actually mean to you?
Look at the stars, where would your problem sit in the universe?
Make a list of who’s proud of you
Avoid Emotional / Physical Burnout
If you only had 5 hours per day for work, what would your work-day look like?
How would you break-down the other 19 hours?
Each night write a list of 3 jobs (max) to do tomorrow.
Confirm that if the top job is completed (whether it’s 5 mins or 3 hours), then you are in credit for the day.
Make the ‘top job to do’ the one that’s presently creating the most stress
End of day: write down 2 things from work that were good today and 2 things you’re grateful for. (one big, one small. Eg: Family, seeing a kestrel*)
*seeing a kestrel is a gift!
Have one day a week offline.
Deal with emails twice a day, 8am and 3pm. That’s it.
( you don’t do your laundry one sock at a time! )
Look at social media once a day if you can justify how it’s adding nourishment to your day
Have a muse.
Talk to someone about your day. 5 minutes.
(if you have no-one, email me
Do your work in blocks of critical mass to create space for ‘creating’ or ‘generating’.
If you need “more hours in your day’ (and you don’t!), then you need to create the slack elsewhere for yourself. What can/should you live without?
Work effectively. Go 1 metre in one direction rather than 1 cm in 100 directions.
‘Busy’ can sometimes mean ‘Lazy’ or ‘Avoiding’. (soz!)
Do lots of what you like doing.
Do lots of what you’re good at.
If, at any time you’re struggling with ‘yourself’, wish the very best for someone else, even if it’s in your head
(see a stranger and spend 60 seconds hoping they have an amazing day…)
pass it on, buy a coffee for the person in line behind you
What does it mean to you to ‘appreciate’ your opportunity to work with dogs?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s