224 episodes

Welcome to our podcast where we dog moms discuss modern, enlightened dog parenting! Each week, we’ll take a dive deep into the human-dog connection and explore strategies that will inspire you to create connection and cooperation with your dog...no obedience training needed!

We meet up at the intersection where training and behavior meet Heart and Soul...and where we leave behind the 'power over' obedience training paradigm we inherited and lead the way to an enlightened 'power with' approach. Join us for an inspirational and educational journey as we explore what living in cooperative partnership with our beautiful dogs looks like in real life.

Brilliant Partners are kind, loving, calm, clear, confident, and cooperative ... and when WE learn how to be a Brilliant Partner, our dogs do too.

Kathy Kawalec is an author, writer, the founder of Dancing Hearts Dog Academy and creator of the Brilliant Partners Academy, The Foundation Formula, Herding Partners Academy, and Creative Alchemy Passion Plan.

Enlightened By Dogs: Living with Cooperation, Not Obedience Kathy Kawalec

    • Kids & Family
    • 4.9 • 86 Ratings

Welcome to our podcast where we dog moms discuss modern, enlightened dog parenting! Each week, we’ll take a dive deep into the human-dog connection and explore strategies that will inspire you to create connection and cooperation with your dog...no obedience training needed!

We meet up at the intersection where training and behavior meet Heart and Soul...and where we leave behind the 'power over' obedience training paradigm we inherited and lead the way to an enlightened 'power with' approach. Join us for an inspirational and educational journey as we explore what living in cooperative partnership with our beautiful dogs looks like in real life.

Brilliant Partners are kind, loving, calm, clear, confident, and cooperative ... and when WE learn how to be a Brilliant Partner, our dogs do too.

Kathy Kawalec is an author, writer, the founder of Dancing Hearts Dog Academy and creator of the Brilliant Partners Academy, The Foundation Formula, Herding Partners Academy, and Creative Alchemy Passion Plan.

    Dog Advocacy and Social Pressure - Let's Do Better

    Dog Advocacy and Social Pressure - Let's Do Better

    Throughout her career, Kathy has been in many different social situations with her dogs. Whether out in public, at the vet, or on a long hike, these social interactions can pose a few problems when people want to say ‘hi’ to your dog or treat your dog in ways you wouldn’t usually.
    In these situations, it’s crucial to remain a calm, confident role model, stepping in as your dog’s voice to reassure them and provide them with comfort.
    In this episode of Enlightened by Dogs, Kathy shares two uncomfortable situations she and her dogs have found themselves in. She dissects these interactions, what made her and her dogs uncomfortable and provides top tips for dog parents on how to best deal with these kinds of encounters.
    Tune in to the episode to hear Kathy’s advice.
    To revisit one of Kathy’s latest, very special episodes about Maya, head to EBD219 – Maya, The Gift that Keeps on Giving.
    In this episode:
    How to comfort your dog in challenging situations Why showing people calmly where they stand is key How to be the parent and advocate your dog’s needs Quotes:
    “When dogs are not eager to engage like this, it's always best to let them make the first approach on their own.”
    “If you're a dog professional and you're advising dog parents to socialize and desensitize using outdated ideas, I hope that you reconsider.”
    “It's okay to feel social pressure and still be the advocate that your dog needs you to be anyway.”
    Want More of Kathy?
    Brilliant Partners Academy Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website Facebook Community

    • 21 min
    My Most Difficult Dog and Teacher with Terri and Bella

    My Most Difficult Dog and Teacher with Terri and Bella

    Kathy has shared the stories of so many dogs she’s had the pleasure of knowing. But this week, she turns the spotlight on a member of the Brilliant Partners Academy.
    BPA member, Terri joins Enlightened By Dogs to tell the tale of her beloved Bella and what she’s learned during her time with her.
    Every dog has different needs, personality types, and complexities, and the learning process never really ends. In this episode, Terri shares her experiences with Bella and what she’s learned from being a BPA member.
    Terri adopted Bella from a shelter and found herself stuck in a red zone spiral. She would never have dreamed of one day enjoying hiking with her. But through her own insights and BPA learning processes, she has helped Bella develop into the calmer dog she is today.
    In this episode:
    How Terri listens to her dogs’ needs Why sticking with BPA is crucial for Terri Why remaining calm helps your dogs remain calm Quotes:
    “I have to tell myself not to get tense because if I'm tense, she's tense. If I’m calm, she's calm.”
    “If we're sitting on the couch and I take a deep breath, Bella takes a deep breath too. I know she can mirror me.”
    “I praised Bella anytime she wanted to be beside me. I was like: “You're just such a wonderful dog,” and I just let my heart flow out with her.”
    Want More of Kathy?
    Brilliant Partners Academy Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website Facebook Community

    • 43 min
    Maya, The Gift that Keeps on Giving

    Maya, The Gift that Keeps on Giving

    Kathy has used kindness, compassion and patience to form strong relationships with dogs for so many years. She has proven that even those that were deemed a “lost cause” can become attentive and loyal life partners.
    In this episode of Enlightened by Dogs, Kathy shares the story of Maya (aka Noodle). She takes us back to when Maya was seven months old and labeled “untrainable” by three families. Kathy oversaw Maya’s journey from a persistent dog who chased anything that moved to a responsive and devoted companion.
    Listen to hear Kathy explore what she has learned from her time with Maya.
    In this episode:
    How to stop doubting your decision when you take in a new dog Why traditional obedience training doesn’t work How an “untrainable” dog can become a life partner Quotes:
    “Keep your eye on the prize, stay the course and keep going, no matter what.”
    “Each dog has been a gift rich in experiences, adventures and lessons that I could share with others to help ease their way with their dogs.”
    “There's the common and debilitating mindset mistake of believing that your dog is uncooperative and is giving you a hard time. That all dogs should conform and all dogs should be trained to be obedient to identical standards.”
    Want More of Kathy?
    Brilliant Partners Academy Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website Facebook Community

    • 22 min
    Phoenix- The Hardest Dog That Taught Me the Most

    Phoenix- The Hardest Dog That Taught Me the Most

    Kathy has had the pleasure of building partnerships with all types of dogs. But sometimes, the most challenging relationships are the most rewarding.
    Each dog she has spent time with has contributed to the way she lives and works. And Phoenix is certainly no exception.
    In this Enlightened by Dogs episode, Kathy takes us back to the first moment she met the most challenging dog she’s ever known. Despite being controlling, excitable and highly sensitive, Phoenix was an incredible sheepdog and life partner. Kathy explains how the way Phoenix challenged her shaped her teaching and mindset forever.
    In this episode:
    Dealing with a highly sensitive dog What makes a true partner How one moment with Phoenix changed Kathy forever Quotes:
    “All my dogs are teachers and healers for me and for others.”
    “She put me in that position to make note of all the elements that were the core of what makes it possible to have a brilliant partnership with your dog and a brilliant life.”
    “Just because you can teach a dog 152 tricks, it doesn't mean that you should.”
    Want More of Kathy?
    Brilliant Partners Academy Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website Facebook Community

    • 32 min
    Russell - What It Means to Be the Legacy of a Great Dog

    Russell - What It Means to Be the Legacy of a Great Dog

    Kathy’s partnerships with dogs have seen her experience laughter, joy, tears and heartache. But the overall emotion is pure love. A strong partnership with your dog means that love never falters.
    In this episode of Enlightened by Dogs, Kathy shares the story of Russell – the dog that taught her the meaning of true partnership. Kathy explains how she became Russell’s student and, eventually, his legacy, and shares heartfelt words she wrote after Russell’s sad passing back in 2011.
    Listen to hear Kathy explore all the lessons she learned from Russell in their time together.
    In this episode:
    How dogs can teach you where you’re going wrong Why you should be the partner your dog truly deserves The broad range of emotions you feel in partnerships with dogs Quotes:
    “I hadn't even cracked the surface of what it meant to be a good partner and a good handler up until then.”
    “Whether you're doing dog sports, or agility or rally or obedience or whether you're just enjoying life with your good dog, commit to being the partner that your dog deserves, starting right now.”
    “I'm reminded of the richness I have had living such a full life with dogs at my side for all of my life. And I can only get excited when I think about what is yet to come.”
    Want More of Kathy?
    Brilliant Partners Academy Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website Facebook Community

    • 19 min
    Haley, The Dog That Taught Me About Trust

    Haley, The Dog That Taught Me About Trust

    Sometimes, meeting a new dog with a new personality can make you question the methods you’ve tried over the years.
    Throughout her career, Kathy’s relationships with different dogs have seen her mindset and approach evolve time and time again.
    In this Enlightened by Dogs episode, Kathy takes us back around 30 years to the first time she met her long-term companion, Haley. This partnership opened Kathy’s eyes to finding new ways of building mutual trust with her dogs, and she explores how to apply that to your own brilliant partnership.
    In this episode:
    How Kathy broke the mold with ‘kind leadership’ How dogs will keep you constantly learning Lessons Kathy learned from Haley that she sticks by today Quotes:
    “Positive reinforcement training isn’t an end to the evolution of living together harmoniously with dogs. It’s a beginning.”
    “I had worked so carefully to build her trust in me so she could use that trust as her courage to stand strong while allowing a stranger to touch her.”
    “I learned that setting my dog and myself up for success made life so much easier for everyone.”
    Want More of Kathy?
    Brilliant Partners Academy Dancing Hearts Dog Academy Website Facebook Community

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
86 Ratings

86 Ratings

Lucymac ,

Love this podcast!

I have learned so much from this podcast! It truly has changed my mindset and my relationship with my dog. When I start falling into old habits this quickly gives me a reset and I get curious about what I can do different to make things easier for my dog. Our love has only grown stronger and we have more joy in our lives. Thanks Kathy.

chickadee1379 ,

Absolutely enlightening

I find myself applying Kathy’s teaching to all aspects of my life, not just my dogs. I am a better listener which leads to less acting out. She has given me the tools to cope with the tough days which make the good days that much better.

Codybearandpickles ,

Great dog mom podcast!

The insights in this podcast help you love and understand your dog even more. We all think we are best friends with our dogs, but Kathy helps you be an even better best friend.

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