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111 Key Principles for Success

Principle 54 - Own a Dog

A key principle for success is having a dog.

You're thinking how can a dog bring me success? Well I'll tell you.

One element of success that I discuss is happiness and dogs can give you that. You can also learn some important lessons from them.

Dogs Bring Happiness

If you've never been greeted by a dog when you come home from work, you don't know what you're missing. The animal that's most happy to see me isn't my wife or children, it's my dog. She can barely control herself as she's so exciting to see and greet me. Whenever a dog greets you, you feel great and happier.

Overcomming Fear

Dogs can help you overcome fear.

I use to be fearful of dogs before I owned one. I love the TV show the Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan. If you haven't watched the show I highly recommend it. His tagline is "I rehabilitate dogs and train people." I always admired the way he fearlessly challenged the dogs.

One day while running in my town, I saw a dog running down the street by itself. I said to the dog, "Where's your owner?" The dog jumped into my arms. I finally got the dog back to its owner. I thought that this was a sign from God, which is weird because I'm an atheist, that I should own a dog. So I got one. In the beginning, it wasn't that easy as puppies can be hard to tame. But with help from Cesar and the internet, I'm the proud owner of a 70-pound beagle and shepherd mix and no longer fear dogs the way I use to.

Teach you Leadership

I've learned many leadership skills from Cesar and my dog. Things that don't seem obvious are important when getting a dog to trust and respect you. Cesar stresses the importance of being the pack leader. You need to enter first and leave first since you're the leader. You must set rules, boundaries, and limitations so the dog knows what it can and can't do. You must lead your dog on a walk and not follow him.

You will learn as Cesar calls it "calm-assertive energy." If you don't develop this you won't be able to lead your dog.

Teach you how to Teach

If you want your dog to do any tricks or obey commands you must teach them. You can use both positive and negative reinforcement to teach. But the same principles apply to teaching people. Complex skills need to be simplified. Rewards for correct behaviors and lack of reward or corrections for incorrect behaviors.

With dog training, you can use a clicker which helps tell the dog the exact behavior that's being rewarded.

Teach you how to Greet People

People love dogs because of the great greeting they give their owners. To get people to like you greet people the way your dog greets you. Be excited, and happy to see the person.

Teach you Non-verbal Communication

Dogs are experts and reading non-verbal communication. To fully communicate with them you have to notice them, their ears, tail, posture to tell what their future intentions are. Otherwise, you face the risk of being bitten or them attacking something if you don't pick up the signs.

So get a dog, preferably from a pound and up your happiness and leadership skills without much effort.

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