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Paws and Reflect: My Journey to Self-Efficacy through "Watch Me" and "Leave It"

Hello, fellow humans and canines! It's Eddings here, your friendly therapy dog in training at McNab Wellness. Today, I want to take you on a tail-wagging journey through my training process, focusing on two commands that have been crucial to my development: "Watch Me" and "Leave It". These commands are not just about obedience; they're about building self-efficacy, that belief in my own ability to succeed in specific situations. Let's dive in, shall we?

The Beginning: A Leap into Learning

When I first started my training, I was like any other pup - easily distracted and full of energy. The concept of self-efficacy was as foreign to me as a cat who loves water. But my humans and trainers at Remi's K-9 Academy believed in me. They knew that with the right guidance, I could learn to believe in myself too.

"Watch Me": The Gateway to Connection

The "Watch Me" command was the first step on my path to self-efficacy. It might seem simple - just making eye contact with my trainer on command - but it taught me so much more. It was about focus, about tuning out distractions and connecting with my human. Each time I successfully executed the command, I felt a little surge of pride. "I did it!" I thought. And with each success, my belief in my own abilities grew.

This command is a cornerstone of therapy dog training because it establishes a line of communication between me and my handler. It's about trust and understanding, showing that I'm ready to listen and respond. This connection is vital when I'm working in therapeutic settings, helping individuals through their own challenges.

"Leave It": Mastering Self-Control

Then came the "Leave It" command. This one was tougher. It's one thing to make eye contact, but quite another to ignore that tantalizingly smelly sock on the ground. Yet, mastering this command was crucial for my development. It taught me self-control and discipline, essential traits for any therapy dog.

Learning to "Leave It" wasn't just about ignoring distractions, though. It was about understanding priorities and making choices that align with my role as a therapy dog. Each time I successfully left something alone on command, I proved to myself that I could control my impulses, that I could choose to focus on what really matters.

The Power of Self-Efficacy

Through these commands, I've learned that self-efficacy is like a muscle - the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Each successful "Watch Me" and "Leave It" added to my confidence, helping me believe in my ability to face new challenges and succeed. This belief is crucial not just for therapy dogs, but for anyone navigating the hurdles of life.

Self-efficacy in training translates into self-efficacy in therapy sessions. When I'm confident in my abilities, I can provide better support to those in need, offering them the unwavering presence and comfort they seek. My journey through training has taught me that, with patience, practice, and a little bit of faith, we can all achieve more than we think possible.

A Tail of Success

So, to all my furry friends and human companions out there, remember that self-efficacy is within your reach. Whether you're learning a new command or facing a challenge in your life, believe in your ability to succeed. Just like I learned with "Watch Me" and "Leave It," your potential is limitless when you have faith in yourself.

Thanks for joining me on this journey. Keep wagging and believing, and until next time, this is Eddings, signing off with a happy bark and a heart full of confidence.

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