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The Legacy of Tekla: What Janita Leinonen Learned from the Dog That Helped Her Create the OneMind Dogs Method

The OneMind Dogs training method was created by our leading coach Janita Leinonen when her Border Collie Tekla suddenly lost her hearing in 2003. Without Tekla, the OneMind Dogs method wouldn’t exist.


Janita still remembers Tekla fondly. These are some of her memories and things she learned from Tekla that also helped her create the OneMind Dogs puppy training method.

Tekla taught me to understand the dog’s point of view

When Tekla became deaf, she taught me to understand the dog’s point of view on a completely new level. I learned to understand the importance of eye contact with dogs, and how dogs can read even the smallest signals in your body language. The OneMind Dogs puppy training method emphasizes the dog’s point of view. Besides training puppies, we are training owners!

Tekla thought I was the best thing in the world

The love we had for each became the foundation for the OneMind Dogs method. The owner should always be the most interesting thing in the world for the dog. You can prevent a lot of problems by teaching solid foundations for your dog. It’s important to get to know your dog and learn what it likes, loves or dislikes.

Tekla was smart (and cunning!) already as a puppy

When Tekla was a small puppy and still with her littermates, she was already showing signs of her superior intelligence. When the puppies got treats, she used to lure her littermates away from the treats, steal them and hide them in a fenced area that the other puppies couldn’t access. Then she would enjoy all the treats by herself! People might think puppies are too young to learn life skills. This is not true at all - puppies are already intelligent and capable of learning much more than you probably realize.

Tekla was great with puppies

When Tekla was an adult, she was amazing at socializing puppies. Other breeders used to bring their puppies to Tekla, because she was so good at teaching them. The puppies loved being around her. Socialization is super important for puppies. Puppies are like clean slates, things they experience in the first 16 weeks of their lives they will learn to regard as normal.

People couldn’t believe Tekla was deaf

Tekla was always with me off leash at training events. When we worked together at events, people couldn’t believe she was deaf because she responded to me so well. I explained all the time verbally what I was doing, so people didn’t notice that Tekla actually just followed my subtle body signals.This is the kind of connection we want to give to all dogs and their owners!

To find out more about the OneMind Dogs approach to puppy training, check out our Invesdor page!

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Our mission is to give a happy life to dogs by helping people become amazing dog owners. We are passionate about increasing the mutual understanding between the dog and the owner, making a life together more enjoyable for both.