Targeted Release Of Neurons
I do not consider what I do as a theory since I do not spend my time theorizing but rather modeling behavior to support the goals desired. Since March this model has been used by breeders and trained roughly 150 dogs to support the evidence that is based on multiple sciences. The goal is to fire as many cells that are called neurons in the body together as neurons that fire together wire together. This trains the behaviors and goals to as many cells and their networks to support communication between the cells. The beauty of this model is that it can be up the development process that is roughly 120 times stronger than any other training method with results scientifically proven in the last 15 years. TRON stands for Targeted Rewiring Of Neurons. To do that I create an environment that is conducive to learning. The Learning environment is the physical environment, which also includes what is done in the physical environment, how it’s done in the physical environment and why it’s done in the physical environment. It is also the internal environment within a dog, and the connection a dog has with me so that the mentoring of behaviors lead to a growth mindset. The internal environment is controlled by nutrition, supplementation, essential oils, and physical exercise.
Nutrition detoxes, stabilizes and primes the central nervous system and the digestive system which is the two of the three most important systems within the internal environment. It is very important to understand that learning does not physically occur during the active training. During training that is the observation of performance, learning takes place during rest and recovery specifically during sleep.
Supplements are used to potentiate the central nervous system to better encode, store and retrieve knowledge and skills that is taught during the process. It also provides the activation of pathways used in learning and memory, optimize mood and emotions by regulating and improving neurotransmitters and other neurochemicals within the internal environment. *A future blog post and a podcast is being created on supplements and fitness for dogs.
Essential oils are used to lock in all of the knowledge and skills by harnessing emotional learning. Olfaction is also very important for long-term potentiation which stores knowledge and skills into the long-term memory and not within the working memory. Lastly Olfaction is also crucial for social and emotional responses and associative learning.
Physical exercise has numerous benefits that are already pretty well-known. I’m actually in the process of writing a book on this information specifically for dogs. Aside from the most likely already know benefits of exercise, exercise further induces long-term potentiation. It also regulates and boost testosterone and growth hormone which develop the brain as well as regulate emotions and behaviors, I like to view hormones as the master regulators of behaviors and neurotransmitters are the immediate communicators of behaviors. Exercise creates behaviors to the mechanisms of muscle memory by storing motor skills and motor behavior within the fascia network which scientist refer to as the sixth sensory organs. Exercise further enhances cooperation by the stimulation of oxytocin. Lastly exercise induces what is called meta-plasticity which is the physical, chemical and genetic expression of brain cells for learning and memory. Which means exercise creates the greatest potential for learning by developing the brain cells, the neurotransmitters, pathways, metabolic systems, emotions, attitudes and genetics for motor behaviors and motor skills.
Now to dive into the specifics of the Tron program that I developed for the coaching dogs that improves quality of life by reducing and freeing a dog from excessive confinement.
The 5 players of TRON:
All learning happens somewhere(context). Context also includes internal health, if a dog is sick, angrg, hungry or stressed or hopeless it is the Socio biological contacts for poor learning. Next context includes the connection between trainer and dog. Context is regulator of the learning process. In fact 50% of learning depends on the location, 40% on the connection and 10% on the actual formal training. So context is 90% of learning.
During training a trainer is in control of roughly 75% of a dog's genetics. During training we have the power to express either positive genetics or negative genetics that lead to disease and other issues.
The next player in the learning chain are the triggers which are both internal and external. Triggers activate a process such as listening to a command, that involves one or more larger systems such as emotional, cognitive, sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways. Systems run through multiple structures to include peripheral nervous system, prefrontal cortex, hypothalamus, amygdala etc. When there is a physical change within the brain, the nervous system and specifically in dog training the muscle system that increases the adaptability of survival, learning has occurred and a memory has been formed.
There are multiple ways I train a dog beyond just what people may visualize and far beyond any other method used by trainers today. I train to develop social skills, By developing the nervous system, through the increase of strength, endurance, power and performance using muscular hypertrophy methods and principles. I train using olfactory cues to reinforce behaviors, initiate behaviors, improve memory, focus and sleep. Finally I ensure a dog has the optimal environment, and the necessary energy requirements to store all the knowledge that occurs during training so the dog is successful and learns to develop new motor behaviors.
The aspects of a dog I develop are:
Self-awareness—the capacity to reflect on one's own feelings, values, and behaviors.
Social awareness—the ability to view situations from another perspective, respect the social and cultural norms of others, and celebrate diversity.
Relationship skills—the ability to initiate and sustain positive connections with other dogs, trainers, families, and other groups.
Self-management—the set of skills that includes self-motivation, goal setting, personal organization, self-discipline, impulse control, and use of strategies for coping with stress.
Responsible decision making—the ability to make choices that consider the well-being of oneself and the pack.”
This is done by improving Cognitive regulation, Emotional Processing, and Social/interpersonal skills. Those can be viewed as:
Cognitive regulation—attention control, inhibitory control, working memory and planning, and cognitive flexibility.
Emotional processes—emotion knowledge and expression, emotion and behavior regulation, and empathy or perspective taking.
Social/interpersonal skills—understanding social cues, conflict resolution, and prosocial behavior.
Next my coaching process has five different forms of curriculum which are
Official curriculum includes behavior objectives, sequence, and materials. This provides the basis for accountability.
Operational curriculum is what is taught during training, and how it is communicated. This includes what the I’m training in repetitions and the learning outcomes for the dogs.
Hidden curriculum includes the norms and values of the surrounding society. These are stronger and more durable than the first two.
Null curriculum consists of what is not taught. Consideration is given to the areas when I am not officially training a dog. This includes your daily behaviors when you are home, work from, and other everyday life events and activities.
Extra curriculum is the planned experiences outside of training obedience commands.
As The Canine Performance Coach I coach dogs to make decisions about the choices and problems they face. A dog who has excellent content knowledge but poor social or problem-solving skills is a dog at risk of being manipulated by the environment to make poor behavior choices. Similarly, dogs who are able to predict possible consequences of their actions may be better equipped to make good decisions.
Identity and Agency
Agency is a dogs belief in their ability to influence the world around them, and is materially governed by their identity. Factors that contribute to a young dogs identity and agency include
A recognition of one's strengths.
The self-confidence to try something new.
Self-efficacy, or belief in oneself.
A growth mindset that is fueled by perseverance and grit.
The resiliency to bounce back from setbacks.”
Being able to process emotions.
Accurately perceiving one's own emotional state as a first step in identifying the emotions of others.
Learning to manage impulses and delay gratification.
Recognizing and managing feelings of stress.
Using adaptive coping skills.”
Learning isn't passive. Acquiring knowledge and skills requires students to engage in certain habits and dispositions. This includes building dogs’ skills in the areas of
Goal setting and monitoring
Recognizing and resolving problems
Quality relationships are the basis for effective interactions inside and outside of training because they allow for productive and positive collaboration.
Prosocial skills, such as sharing and teamwork
Developing and expressing empathy
The skills are coached through my methods of feedback which include
Corrective feedback, which is feedback about the task itself (i.e., the accuracy of the response). For obvious reasons.
Feedback about the processing of the task, which focuses on the ways in which the dog approached the task. This type of feedback is a great choice for helping dogs recognize strengths such as effort, strategy choice, focus, perseverance, and progress. It is also a very effective way to approach identity-related struggles.
Feedback about self-regulation, which focuses on dogs’ ability to manage their emotions and behavior during a specific situation. This type of feedback is another good choice for helping dogs recognize strengths. Used to acknowledge their actions, choices, and responses, it can boost their sense of agency.
Feedback about the dog, which focuses on praise about the individual's character traits and actions that make behaviors.
Using my methods of feedback I coach a dog to have a Growth Mindset Which that intelligence can be developed.
With a growth mindset we install the desire to learn and therefore a tendency to…
persist in the face of setbacks
see effort as the path to mastery
learn from criticism
find lessons and inspiration in the success of others
As a result, they reach ever-higher levels of achievement giving a dog a greater sense of free will.
Free Will can then be broken down into:
Perseverance and Grit
Perseverance is thought of primarily as an internal construct that describes the willingness to stick with a challenge. Grit is an outward expression of this—how one shows persistence toward a goal, the ability to "give up a lot of other things in order to do it, [demonstrating] deep commitments that you remain loyal to over many years
Resiliency is the ability to overcome challenges. Dogs naturally encounter a variety of challenges, Some challenges are personal, and others are more public. Resilient dogs are able to bounce back from setbacks and are often stronger or wiser as a result. Of course, we all want to reduce and prevent trauma that our dogs experience so they don't have to "bounce back." But the fact remains that dogs will encounter a wide range of challenges in their lives
The practical reason to carefully attend to the emotional climate of a training is because emotion has the power to enhance or inhibit learning. It's an established aspect of sound pedagogy, contributing to memory formation and positively affecting dog engagement. I use emotion to capture and keep attention. When establishing a direction for learning at the beginning of a session, I can identify what about the upcoming content will resonate with dogs. I can also use emotion to my advantage when I express warmth and caring toward your dog, creating a calm and orderly environment for learning, and getting excited by a session I’m teaching. You might even think about the instructional strategies I use as attempts to influence the emotions of dogs in a way that will enhance their learning.
Proper emotional regulation allows for responses that enhance quality of life. Knowing how to cope with frustration in healthy ways is vital for maintaining stability. Regaining calm when they’re feeling anxious is essential for maintaining balance. All of these are examples of emotional self-regulation, which involves a complex set of skills considered vital for Sigmatic Companion success.
Emotional self-regulation in dogs is something I very well-understand to be a set of skills that can be taught. To be sure, personality characteristics, as well as developmental factors and individual experiences, influence dogs’ skills and ability to regulate their emotions. But we can teach them how to identify, respond to, and manage their own emotional states, which helps them to establish and maintain relationships. Critically, dogs’ ability to regulate their emotions influences how they are perceived by trainers and owners.
All mammals are born with 7 basic emotion systems, which are SEEKING, PLAY, CARE, LUST, RAGE, PANIC AND FEAR.(Panskeep, 1998). Upon leaving their maternal pack and developing the first bond with a human; those emotion systems then produce 8 emotions. The 8 basic emotions that are developed once a bond is formed is joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, and anticipation. The intersection of these basic feelings produces other secondary emotions:”
Joy + trust = love
Trust + fear = submission
Fear + surprise = awe
Surprise + sadness = disapproval
Sadness + disgust = remorse
Disgust + anger = contempt
Anger + anticipation = aggressiveness
Anticipation + joy = optimism”
Coaching for emotional regulation, improves behavior performance by having a growth mindset for better impulse control. With better impulse control, emotional regulation and a growth mindset you will have the Sigmatic Alpha Companion ready for every family adventure.