Our growing subscriber list reads our material to learn about mastering life with a large, energetic, active dog, and applying this knowledge to live a less stressful, more active, productive, fun, well-rounded life. That could mean mastering unpredictable situations, planning and reorganizing your time, dealing with difficult social situations, and building and improving relationships. It could mean learning new skills, making a change in your life, pursuing a new career or business opportunity, and making more income.
We take a different approach compared to other “experts” out there.
We’re not going to lecture you about using this dog-training approach or that one. Or engage in a debate about whether to buy or adopt a dog. Instead, we’ll show you how to focus on 5–10 big wins that are worth a significant reduction in stress, more sleep and relaxation, and the confidence of mastering leadership skills that you can then apply to other areas of your life. All gleaned from life with a crazy, active dog.
While we like the idea of working with anyone who has a dog, we have strict limits – we will not work with anyone who is, or advocates any kind of violent behaviour towards dogs. That decision might cost us money, but it’s not something we will compromise on.
We give away the majority of our material for free (98%), and we strive to make our free material better than the other paid options out there.
We know you have a lot of choices in who you read, so we know we have to earn your trust with all of our posts and products. If you’re curious, here’s a little bit about us.
Fortunately, we have both had very active lives – from leading canoe trips on Canadian fur-trade heritage rivers, to hiking mountain passes, to kayaking on the Atlantic and climbing Mexican pyramids, to travelling (21 countries between the two of us). We love meeting new people, challenging ourselves, and constantly building on our skills and experiences.
We both studied psychology, and engaged in music (Danielle with grade 10 in piano, and Adam competing in pipeband drumming, including at the North American Championships). We’ve had unique experiences like being part of an honour guard for Queen Elizabeth II, and performing at the Skydome in Toronto, Canada.
We’ve worked professionally in 9 organizations spanning the public, private and non-profit sectors in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. We’ve planned events and dinners for over 1000 people and 40 Embassies and High Commissions, we’ve provided briefings to the offices of elected government members and public service officials, we’ve accompanied senior executives on business trips and met with international delegations.
We’ve studied languages (6 languages between us), and trained in Tai Chi, martial arts, and yoga. Together, these experiences have formed the people who we are: fun, insightful, active, balanced, and measured. *If we do say so ourselves.* 🙂
We’ve also learned a lot from our dog. So much so in fact, that we even wrote a book about our whimsical observations: bits of wisdom and intelligence from our life with a dog passed on for you. It’s available now. See our Book page for more details.
When we met at university, we knew we wanted to have a dog one day – one that would match our enthusiasm for life, have lots of energy, and a love for the outdoors and people.
And wow, did we get that. You’ve heard of John Grogan’s story and the movie “Marley and Me”? Yup, we got a “Marley,” except we named our Labrador retriever Juno.
Juno rocked our world and brought us to our knees. Right from the start as an 8-week-old puppy.
It didn’t seem to matter how many books we’d read about dogs, how many websites we visited, how many dogs we had ourselves growing up (4 total). It was like our life experiences, dog experiences, and everything we had learned up to that point went right out the window and were meaningless.
We didn’t sleep through a night for months, we were being run ragged by our puppy, and felt like we had lost control of our own lives. We were exasperated, drained, and frustrated with our new dog and with each other. This puppy was taking a major toll, and quickly.
So, like the “life students” we are, we started doing more research on how other people dealt with their new, active dogs. And we noticed some interesting things.
Insight number one:
Most prospective or existing dog owners, most authors, and most trainers seemed to be focusing on the dog. How to train them, what to feed them, what kind of toys to give them. But this was all stuff we weren’t having a problem with – our dog ate and drank well (we sorted out a good diet early on), learned ridiculously quickly (hey, maybe Juno’s a genius and we’re good teachers), and had a few favourite toys (Juno loved some and ignored the others).
So why were we exhausted, stressed out, and our life in chaos?
Insight number two:
The focus on the dog was pretty intense. “Owners should exercise their dogs x-amount of time each day, train them a certain number of hours per day, do this or that with them a set amount of time each day.”
We totally agree that different types of dogs require different amounts of time/training investment at a minimum, but how could most dog owners simply fit all those types of regimens into their busy, hectic daily lives? Particularly if they had jobs, families, relationships, hobbies, and activities competing for their time?
Insight number three:
Almost no one (anyone, really) was focused on the people, and what happens to your life when you have a new energetic, active dog.
The existing expert advice suggests that if your dog sits on command, if you feed it this diet or that diet, if you train it using this technique or that one, your life will be blissful (cue the commercials of Labrador retriever puppies sleeping in cotton balls) while you read and enjoy a tea beside them. While most people would love to have that situation, would most people actually do all that work the books said in order to get there? Much of the advice didn’t seem practical.
Let’s be honest:
-almost nobody wants to cut out all their existing activities and replace them with dog training
-almost nobody can escape their jobs and responsibilities to spend all their time with their dog
-and who wants to have it implied that they’re bad dog owners if they don’t do all that dog training or work?
We realized it is possible to have the blissed-out dog, but getting there involves much more than following all the “instructions” set out in the dog books – “information” that focuses almost exclusively on the dog, but not on you.
Getting that blissed-out dog without following every last suggestion in the dog books involves compromise, adaptation, organization, and planning so you can maintain the life you want with the dog you want – minus the stress, exhaustion, exasperation, emotional turmoil and social pressure that can come with the addition of a dog to your household.
We went into the experience of having a dog armed with previous experience, books worth of information, dozens of websites reviewed, and discussions with owners, breeders, and volunteers with dog organizations.
What we realized what was missing though, was knowledge about how to manage your lifestyle with a dog. And we set about making some key changes.
We didn’t want having a dog to mean we were totally giving up other aspects of our life, but we also wanted our life to remain well-run and smooth.
We’ve tried out lots of different ideas to get there, and we want to share the best of them with you. We’ll also share what didn’t work to save you the trouble. In fact, as our life with a dog continues to grow and evolve, we’ll keep sharing our ideas and observations with you. We want to show you how we went from having a dog dig a hole in a wall, to dozing away for hours, exhausted, on the couch beside us.
Our site is designed to help you master your dog lifestyle with management skills you can apply elsewhere in your life: at work, with family and friends, with your work and career to achieve what you want. Just like getting the peace-of-mind that your dog is healthy, happy, tired, follows your commands, and that you haven’t gotten stressed out and lost your mind in the process. Even if you haven’t followed all the rules. Because who has time for that?
We were broadsided by the unexpected amount of time that our new dog took in our lives, relative to our previous experience. And we want to help people who find themselves in similar circumstances.
We love our dog to pieces, and know you love yours to pieces too. Let us help you remove some stress along the way.
Life with a new dog does not have to be stressful, sleepless, and totally frustrating.
We’re offering you subtle, actionable steps you can start taking now that will convey to your new dog that you are the master. Right from the beginning. And that is step number one.
We want to prove that our material can change your life. Sign up for our FREE newsletter and you’ll receive:
-Insider techniques on psychology, leadership, planning, and organization – all with reference to life with your dog
-Ready-to-use scripts we haven’t shared before (such as how to deal with know-it-all neighbours, family, friends, or colleagues who are suddenly experts on your dog and your life)
-Detailed case studies and private Q&As
-Reactions to stories in the news and media
What else can you expect?
Since we also love to read and keep up on the latest thinking about (personal) success, growth, and mastery, you’ll find plenty of new material inside that applies the best new concepts to your life with a dog.
We’re building our email list and community, and we’d love to hear back from you. Please send us your questions and insights. Forward us to your family, friends, colleagues, and anyone who has a dog or is thinking about getting one.
Thanks for joining us – we’re thrilled to have you with us at lifeinthedoglane.com.
And thanks for reading. We appreciate you spending time with us.