You’ll hear us talking about connection a lot at OneMind Dogs. We believe that the key to a happy life with your dog is through building connection.
And not just any connection — magical connection.
Why magical? Because when you really connect with your dog, and it feels like you’re two souls with one mind, it simply feels like magic.
If you’ve been with us for a while, you’ll know where the idea of two souls, one mind originated. But for those who have just recently joined us (hello!) we figured it’d be best to go back in time a few years to the story of a very special connection between one agility competitor and her dog…
About Tekla, the heart of OneMind Dogs
In the early 2000’s, Janita Leinonen (creator of the OneMind Dogs method) and her six year old border collie Tekla were at their peak — winning competitions and smashing goals as a team.
Suddenly, Tekla’s responsiveness started to waver and soon she stopped responding to even the most basic commands. One day she didn’t even notice that Janita had arrived home — very strange behavior for Tekla.
A trip to the vet confirmed that, for no obvious reason, Tekla had become deaf.
Once the initial shock wore off, Janita quickly began thinking of how she could make life, training and competition work for Tekla.
And after months of observing and learning from Tekla, she started to understand what was going on in her dog’s mind, both in everyday life, and on the agility course.
Janita learnt that in fact, they could communicate perfectly without saying a word.
So, she built a system based on dogs’ natural reaction to their handler’s body language, connection and trust, and the OneMind Dogs method was born.
Janita used the method to train and compete with Tekla, who as a 10 year old grandmother, continued to win gold and silver medals at agility championships.
Tekla taught us that connection between human and dog doesn’t need words. We simply need to learn to listen to our dogs.
The OneMind Dogs method: how it evolved
Once Janita discovered that communicating with dogs through body language was the best method for both deaf and able-hearing dogs, she knew she had to spread the word.
Janita and Jaakko (along with the rest of the OneMind Dogs co-founders and coaches) spent the early to mid 2010’s travelling the world, teaching Agility handlers the OneMind Dogs method.
It quickly became popular because of how quickly and easily dogs respond, once their handler understands how to see agility, and life, from the dog’s perspective — with many handlers describing the connection they felt with their dogs as being ‘like magic’.
Which is (as you can probably guess) where the idea of magical connection came from.
Today, dog owners around the world are still experiencing their magical connection moments, whether it be for the first time, or many times throughout their years of training with us.
The newest of those being our OneMind Dogs puppy training members — many of whom are first time dog owners without previous training experience. For them, it’s about the tiny moments of connection: the amazing eye contact, focus, trust and calm in daily life — feeling like they’re the center of their puppy’s universe.
What does magical connection mean to you?
Magical connection is different for everyone. Every dog is unique, like we are — so every dog-human bond is different too. And that’s the most special part about it.
It might be when your dog looks up at you, and you just know you’re on the same page. Or when it’s been a long, hard day and they just know how to comfort you. That happy look when you pick up the leash, the treat bag or their favourite toy — or the trust you feel when you know they’ll come running back to you.
This special bond is built in tiny pieces, through trust, fun, and friendship – by dedicating time each day to spend learning with the little soul who thinks you’re the greatest person in the world.
To celebrate the unique relationship between human and dog, we’re dedicating a whole week to this: Magical Connection Week, starting the 21st of September.
We’d love to hear your special moments during Magical Connection Week, so we can share them with our dog-loving community.
Oh, and remember to use the #magicalconnectionweek hashtag so we can see your posts!