MollyLack of discipline, lack of boundaries and limitations and consequences doesn't work with kids, it doesn't work with employees, it doesn't work with collaborative group efforts, it doesn't work for governments, it doesn't work for banks, and it certainly doesn't work with dogs. Structure provides sanity. 

In some circles, it has become emotionally akin to participating in the holocaust to mention the word discipline in the dog world. For these individuals, any discipline whatsoever seems to be immediately equated with abuse. This is insulting and patently absurd, and does an enormous disservice to our interface with the culture of dog. The language of dogs is structure. Everything about their culture is imbued with structural language, boundaries and limits. To pretend otherwise is like trying to speak Amislan (American Sign Language) by waving your hands in the air.

It matters to a dog how close you are to them. It matters to a dog how and where you touch them. Just because they allow the kind of inconsiderate, fur ruffling touch that is commonplace does not mean that that does not have language significance for them. They are, on the whole, a tolerant culture. We would be sadly adrift, even more than we are now, were it not so. It matters to a dog, proximity, up and down, near and far, how big of a space over which we are moving, how fast or slow we walk, whether we are bowed or straight and what our eyes are doing. They have an immense culture and language of structure.

Discipline, in the dog world, is about recognizing dogs inherent need for structure, boundaries and limitations to thrive and maximize their well being. Dogs, like most living creatures, do not flourish in chaos. I have had the unique opportunity to participate or live in an anarchic society, a society with "no rules", three times in my life: first, a commune in Virginia; second, a village of boats in San Diego Harbor, the third, my farm in rural Mexico. In the first two instances, people were there precisely so that they did not have to live by society's rules. They were independents, fiercely so, from many different walks of life, and in the boat community, different countries. And yet, each time, hurtful events, incidents which tore at the thinly woven fabric of the group catapulted the community into structure. Was the resulting structure slightly more collaborative, a little more freewheeling than a traditional town council? Perhaps. But meetings were held, rules laid down, consequences discussed and adapted.

When I went south to live on my farm in Mexico, it was both inherent in my New England upbringing, and learned from my life experiences, that structure would provide the framework of our days, keep us safe, and nurture our creativity. And so we managed to feed and clothe ourselves and an extended family of people and dogs even when payment for our services were rendered in calabasas and queso (squash and cheese).

At the ranch, I had the rare privilege of living with and managing what grew to be a 13 dog pack. No fences. No kennels. No crates. Just the land, the house, my voice, food, and the structure of our lives. I ran them like I ran the ranch. No violence allowed, no posturing, no threats. Meals at certain times, lights out at certain times. Time to play and patrol the ranch, chase birds and rabbits, and bark at the horses and cows going by in the river bed below, our local highway. Time for four leggeds to nap while the two leggeds made scratches on paper. Time for intimacy. Time for everyone to be in their respective beds. I could leave for weeks at a time to work in the states, leaving our caretaker in charge and return to a happy, tail-wagging chorus at the gate, all present and accounted for. No one ever left of their own accord. Two were poisoned, and one was stolen. I still have the two terriers from the original crew, and the rest grew old and passed on. Life was very rich.

Lack of discipline, lack of boundaries and limitations and consequences doesn't work with kids, it doesn't work with employees, it doesn't work with collaborative group efforts, it doesn't work for governments, and it certainly doesn't work for banks. Structure provides sanity.

- Maryna Ozuna

For more on dog training - visit our blog Tales From the Ranch.

AZ Doggy Dude Ranch Dogs..

Arizona Doggy Dude Ranch Dogs Learn To:

  • Come when called every time...on or off leash!
  • Sit or down when asked...for as long as you want!
  • Walk like a gentleman or lady on a loose leash!
  • Pay attention when you need them!
  • Be wonderfully well-mannered pets inside and outside the home!


Shellie Ferguson

hot-dogHi there -

Thought I'd send a quick pic and an update on Brody since he has hit his one year anniversary from "boot camp" already.



AngelsThe girls were so good in the car and also at the rest stop....

What a wonderful, exhilerating, educational, awe-inspiring experience we had with you.  You certainly exceeded our expectations with the girls.


Marc Goldberg - CDT

Marc GoldbergMaryna has an amazing touch with both dogs and people. Rarely does one dog trainer ever permit another to work with his dogs. Dog trainers are very particular about how their pets are handled. Maryna has worked with my own dogs at my request.
Even though I have been training dogs for over 30 years, in just a few moments, Maryna taught my pets a few new tricks, calming them significantly and quickly. What pleased me most was how gentle and loving Maryna treats dogs. They respond to her very quickly with trust and love.



EmmaJust a note to let you know that Emma (and I !!) are doing very well....we walk every day and she does a great job in sitting and staying...and quite well at heeling....


Deb Tollefson

Deb Tollefson, Retired
Veterinary Technician
Office Manager, Co-owner--Veterinary Clinic
I am sharing something with you that you may or may not be interested in, but I was so impressed yesterday at what I observed that I just couldn't sit on it.
My friend Maryna, who has been keeping my neck and back healthy for years, has a home full of her own very well-behaved dogs. I was always impressed that they never tried to jump on me and always responded so well when given commands. Mostly, if they were in the house they just looked up from their appointed resting places, and then ignored me.

iacpgoldlogostampCall us to talk about what we can do to help you with your dog!


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