One of the most important things in training a dog is one of the simplest things to do, but it requires time and everyone in America today wants an instant solution. I need it now and with as little personal effort as possible. But teaching others whether it is a dog, a child, or another adult is not one of those instant things in life, and it should spent with your dog there will be no champion.

So the problem is not the difficulty of the solution, but the time and effort required in the solution. How sad to have a puppy with so much potential, end up in the wrong hands. The first questions that needs to be answered is not how to teach the puppy, but what top teach the puppy. Does your puppy have the ability to become everything that you envision him to be? You don’t want to try to make a rabbit dog swim, or a Saint Barnard compete in the agility events, or a Chihuahua to pull your sled, nor can you expect a Jack Russell to wait patiently by your side for any long period of time. Now these are obvious and extreme, but the point of the message is for you to truly look closely at the type and personality of your puppy before you ever bring it into your home.

So with this understanding the next, and most important, step after choosing your puppy is to have a plan. A step by step process in place with an exact result in mind. Please, don’t underestimate these steps with this puppy. They are more than fundamental; they are foundational.

The simplest word picture concerning this step was told to me by a friend. He said that his neighbor was a wood carver by hobby and that one afternoon he walked over while the neighbor was working on a large ugly block of wood. About two weeks later when he went back to say hello, that ugly block of wood was transformed into a beautiful horse head with it’s mane blowing in the air.

He was shocked at the detail in the transformation of the block of wood into such a beautiful master piece. When he asked his neighbor how did you see that horse in the block of wood? The neighbor’s simple answer changed his life. He said, “I just chipped away everything that did not look like a horse.” Wow, how easy, except for one thing. You cannot chip away the part that does not look like a horse unless you really know what a real horse looks like. You cannot just have an idea, you must really know in detail. That step is crucial, foundational, and not to be compromised. It is a must if you are to transform a self serving dog or child into a new beautiful creation. Think long about it. Do you really know what you need your dog to do? Do you have a picture in your mind of the finished product? Do you have on your refrigerator a check list of steps that must be achieved before he can go to the next level of training? Some times we must remove a characteristic or habit like barking, and then other times we must add a characteristic like running straight. There can be no exceptions. No amount of crying, pouting, hiding, growling can save him. He must achieve it in order to advance to the next step. Both his and our lives are going to be filled with challenges. One of the secrets to joyful living is learning when to hide from the storm and when to dance in the rain. The result is a wonderful gift to the dog and all of those around him, an obedient, eager to serve, focused, confident and useful dog with purpose and joy in his life.

Where are you going to get such a list? Has anyone done it before? In CSF’s next addition we plan to share the steps I use for my labrador retrievers, and in the following edition we will go into the ‘how to’ part of training. If you have a particular problem that you would life addressed please drop us a line at In the mean time it is important that your write out your own list for your dog. Make a list, picture what the finished product should look like for your dog. See his purpose in your own mind. The Bible says that God will complete the good work that he began in us. It is also says that he will give to u the measure of faith that he needs to us to have in order for us to accomplish the task that he needs for us to complete. Interesting how how similar that is with what we should be doing with out dogs.

It’s easy to look down at our dogs or children and see the area’s in their lives that need improvement, but have you looked into a mirror? Are you everything that you need to be  to accomplish what you were made for? What were you made for? Do you have picture of the finished man? Do you need a teacher, a process, a plan?

CSF has one of the few processes for men in America and I believe the best real life outline as to how to reach the summit of life. However, like I tell every young puppy that gets into my authority for improving, it is not a lay on the back porch and do nothing event. It is a challenge, a wonderful life changing challenge. It is designed to take you for above the average self serving dog. It has the ability to go beyond good to exceptional.

It is the CSF program called Climbing Legacy Mountain and it is a climb, not a ride. It has the power to remove some things and the power to add other things. The result is a real man, obedient, eager to serve, focused, confident, and useful with purpose and joy in his life. In pursuit of the summit!

There are only three concepts and nineteen words that I teach my dogs, but they know them well. Those words have set them free. Until next time, remember to stay balanced because even too much sunshine makes a desert.

Hank and the DOGS

P.S. Monk dog says to tell every dog out there, “Be prepared and keep your eyes on the master. Never let what another dog does or does not do, keep you from going to the championship.”

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