Carpe Diem Philosophy

Carpe Diem:

Live life to the fullest!

Seize the day!

Live in the moment and embrace it!

Live each day like there is no tomorrow!

Live in the present without regard to the future!

All of the above statements are common definitions of Carpe Diem, and one might ask why “Carpe Diem Dogs”?  Why would you live your life with no regard for the future?  That could get you into trouble. And how does carpe diem equal dog training?  In fact, one could argue that the 2 concepts contradict each other.  People train their dogs with the future in mind:  to avoid problems later, to do a specific task or perform a job.  I agree with this logic 100%.  After all, I trained Ella with our future in mind.  I wanted a well-behaved dog that I could take anywhere and every where.  I trained Popeye with the future in mind.  I had this dog with LOTS of drive and an abundance of energy.  His training was all geared towards behavior change and creating a search and rescue dog. He has a job.  He has been trained to use his nose to help me find lost persons.

I chose Carpe Diem because dogs live in the moment.  Dog training is being present in the moment with the dog.  Reinforcement and correction must happen at the moment the behavior occurs.  In order to be successful, you have to be able to move forward regardless of what happened yesterday (good or bad).  Learn from the bad/ugly experiences and embrace the good experiences.  Popeye, my carpe diem dog, taught me this.

At my lowest points with Popeye, my trainer would tell me to chill and embrace this experience with Popeye.  Try to enjoy the process.  You are learning so much from this dog!  I did not realize it at the time but he was preaching a carpe diem philosophy.  Don’t dwell on yesterday’s fiasco, move forward, train, and enjoy it!  The dog is not thinking about yesterday and he is not thinking about tomorrow.  He is thinking about NOW!

With that being said, I would encourage any owner/handler/trainer that is struggling with a dog right now not to give up.  You are not alone.  Embrace this experience now; be present in the moment.  Carpe Diem!  You cannot put a price tag on the knowledge you will gain from working with that difficult dog!


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