My Principles

Framework for working with My Principles

Healthy Relationship Principles apply to all relationships

The core principles of healthy relationship apply to any relationship. While each relationship is unique, there are core relationship principles that universally to all relationships. Relationship-based dog training utilizes these core principles to encourage healthy relationships. The relationship I advocate for using with your dog can be used with any species, even humans!



A healthy relationship is built on trust. No other aspect of the relationship works as it should without trust, Communication, connection and understand become weak or close to non-existent without trust. Sometimes the lack of trust is due to history, it’s not your fault. However it happens, we won’t move forward until we have re-established trust. From that moment on, we will move forward in a way that protects our shared trust. There is no higher gift than someone’s trust.


Your mindset influences everything you do; how you feel about things; how you assess a situation; what your response is and your willingness to invest your time and energy, both in quality and quantity. Try to keep an open mind. Your dog will respond to your mindset in the same way teacher expectations have been found to affect human students. ( Pygmalion Effect, Robert Rosenthal) Try to think of your training time as the doggy version of date night. Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy each other. This can happen in tandem with training. It’s how I spend my days.


Healthy relationships take time. Your time is your most precious commodity. Invest it well. If you don’t, won’t or can’t invest into your relationship, it is helpful to admit that and adjust your exceptions of your relationship partner.


People and dogs get along so well because we are both social creatures. While individuals will have unique needs for social interaction, most require others to be mentally and emotionally healthy. Yet our culture prizes independence. Interdependence would be usually more nourishing. Interdependence, as I define it, is the practice of balancing your needs with the needs of others. A healthy relationship is interdependent; not independent or co-dependent.

Principles vs. Rules

Principles give guidance without promoting mindless compliance. Most of what I write is meant to give principles. There will probably be a few rules, but even then I encourage you to always live mindfully and heart-fully. Life is full of contradictions. If you love mindfully, you will find your relationship is fraught with contradictions. You will have to grow to keep up. This is as it should be…

My Principles


  • Clear
  • Effective
  • Honest
  • As soft as possible
  • Changes according to your needs and the needs of others
  • Increases connection
  • Requires listening with more than your ears


  • Interdependent
  • Aware
  • Deepens
  • A Foundation of Trust
  • Trust is something earned. If lost, expect to need to re-earn it. Try to keep trust intact.


  • Begins with Self-Awareness
  • Empathetic
  • Values different points of view
  • Accepts what is but doesn’t necessarily condone it
  • Helps those in relationship to grow together
  • Fosters goodwill


  • Requires growth; realistic expectations and a tolerance of change/challenge
  • Requires trust and sometimes reaffirming trust
  • Is easier if you can find and treasure the parts that are fun
  • Is important to celebrate at both the small and big victories
  • I believe transformation is at the heart of healthy relationship
  • Transformation together is an act of love. It’s how we share ourselves deeply. It’s a part of growing individually and as a family.