Ep. 05: Human-Canine Behavior Connection Part 1

Last updated on:

In 2017, Marissa wrote a book titled: Human-Canine Behavior Connection – A Better Self Through Dog Training. In this book, she explores her favorite topic: relationships. One of the relationships she explores which is most obvious is the one with your canine; however, she also explores the not so obvious.

Marissa claims our relationship with our dogs is a window into how we relate to the world around us, especially in our human relationships. In Part 1 of this 2 part podcast, we’ll explore what that means and dive into the first 3 relationship concepts.

Get Curious

Asking questions and avoiding assumptions brings awareness and clarity into all relationships. This also allows for compassion and empathy. Compassion is defined as concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others and empathy is defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I have compassion for my dog, Sully when I notice that he is getting stressed by his environment. I am concerned about his well-being; therefore, I modify his experience to help him relax. I also have empathy for him in that moment, as I can relate to feeling uncomfortable or overwhelmed by my environment at times.  

Lean into Acceptance and away from Resistance

If your dog is barking and lunging or growling and cowering they are having a hard time and they need your support not your feelings of shame, embarrassment, or punishment.

Accepting a behavior concern allows us to address it more rapidly. It automatically becomes lighter and less burdensome.

4 steps:

  • Notice your resistance
  • Get curious about what you’re resisting
  • Validate your concern and emotions
  • Reframe the concern


Daily Stoic Email

Compassionate Communication

Learn your canine’s language. They are in a foreign country trying desperately to understand what we need and want from them. Show them respect by learning their language so you can have a dialogue instead of a one-way conversation.  

What is my dog saying?

Resources to support my communication with my dog:

Marissa’s Process:

Step 1: Training the pet parent

  • Understanding your dog’s behavior and their relationship to the world
  • Understanding your response to your dog’s behavior

Step 2: Training the dog

  • Understanding what the dog is communicating
  • Introducing positive reinforcement training & behavior modification concepts

Step 3: Enhancing the relationship

  • Introducing relationship-building principles to enhance your training and connection
  • Implementing play & bonding exercises

Step 4: Enhancing Yourself

  • Learning who you are in all relationships
  • Using the training & behavior modification process and relationship building principles to grow as a person

Marissa’s Ignite Boulder Talk:

Marissa’s Book:

Human Canine Behavior Connection: A Better Self Through Dog Training

Contact Marissa:


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join up with our pack

Get tons of great dog training tips and tricks you won't find anywhere else, along with exclusive deals and discounts only for pack members.