Lauren Langman on the Women Thriving Unapologetically Podcast
The influential dog trainer Lauren Langman is widely known for her positive training approach, which has enabled dog owners worldwide to overcome training challenges. In 2023, she appeared on the Women Thriving Unapologetically podcast to explain why her positive training approach can support people as well as dogs. This approach can help people transform their mindset in all aspects of their lives — even if they don’t own a dog.
On the podcast, Lauren Langman emphasises the importance of following our dreams instead of confining ourselves to others’ expectations. She delves into how we can overcome limiting beliefs, reframe negative language, use our traumatic experiences to better ourselves, and embrace our inner child.
Choosing Your Path Over the Path Others Set for You
When Lauren Langman started her journey to becoming a dog trainer, she didn’t know how her career would take shape. She had studied and worked in various fields, from law to education. When she transitioned to dog training, some of her loved ones questioned whether this was the right path for her. However, she pursued her passion anyway.
Podcast host Lynsie McKeown explains that when we align our actions with our goals, these actions might look different from other people’s. Our actions might also look different from what other people think is best for us. We need to know that this is okay.
Lauren Langman’s success is an example of the success we can achieve when we follow our own rhythm instead of the path others believe is best for us. When she pursued dog training despite others encouraging her not to, she soon found opportunities opening up for her.
Progressing From Dog Trainer to Coach
When Lauren Langman started training dogs, she didn’t know her training role would progress into a coaching role. That said, she did plant the coaching seed early. She reflects on her former business coach telling her that loving dogs isn’t enough to become a great trainer. He emphasised that it would be her love of people that would make her stand out in the dog training space.
This perspective stuck with Langman, whose training approach is as much about supporting people as it is about supporting dogs. Her reward-based dog behaviour courses empower owners to form strong, meaningful bonds with their dogs and train them using playful, fun games.
Lauren Langman offers this training online and in-person via two of her businesses: Absolute Dogs and Devon Dogs. Plus, those who want to accelerate their training progress can book a retreat at Bowerland Holiday Cottages. These dog owners follow a custom training plan while enjoying a peaceful break in the Devonshire countryside.
Before booking a retreat, many of these owners feel at a loss in their training journeys. They then finally receive the support they need to pick themselves up, feel positive, and change the trajectory of their dog training.
Reframing Limiting Beliefs
Many dog owners who turn to Devon Dogs and Absolute Dogs for guidance have limiting beliefs. They often begin sentences with phrases like: “I/we/this dog can’t do this because…”
They believe they can’t achieve training goals because they’re too old, they have a disability, or their dog is a certain breed. These are just a few of the limiting beliefs that get in the way of owners training their dogs.
Lauren Langman explains that limiting beliefs can get in the way of our progress in all aspects of our lives, not just dog training. We may feel that we can’t have everything we want or that something awful must be around the corner as things are going too well for us. However, when we repeat these limiting beliefs, we tend to manifest them.
Instead of making our limiting beliefs real, we need to interrupt these patterns of thought. This is attainable by focusing on the solutions we want to achieve rather than the limits we’re trying to overcome. Mapping out solutions is essential to transforming a negative mindset into a positive one.
Nothing Is Forever
Limiting beliefs often arise when we’re experiencing — or have experienced — a difficult situation. In these situations, we can focus on the fact that everything changes. Nothing lasts forever.
Just as positive experiences pass and become snapshots of our happiest times, difficult experiences pass, too. The Persian adage “this too shall pass” can be helpful to repeat during difficult times.
Finding Positivity During Long-Term Trauma
Upholding a positive mindset can be particularly difficult when experiencing long-term trauma. Lauren Langman has experienced her fair share of painful situations. She reflects on a few of her dogs and loved ones sustaining life-changing injuries or receiving terminal cancer diagnoses.
These can be some of the most difficult scenarios to work through. However, Lauren has found positivity in movement-based activity. She finds spending time outside in nature, going for walks, and taking Pilates or yoga classes particularly healing.
She also strengthens her mindset by picking up on her negative language and reframing this. She has replaced problem-focused words like “stressed” and “can’t” with positive language to shift her thoughts.
Avoiding Negative Thought Patterns
When experiencing grief, it’s easy to let negative thought patterns cycle. Negative thought patterns can lead us to set limiting beliefs and make it more difficult to heal. This way of thinking is ingrained in us unless we reprogramme our minds: According to the National Science Foundation, 80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% are repetitive.
To minimise negative thinking patterns, Lauren Langman focuses on spending time with those who bring out her joy and those who it feels helpful to discuss her problems with. This has helped her experience grief without getting caught up in circles of trauma.
Letting ourselves experience grief is healthy. Once we allow ourselves to feel grief — whether this stems from illness, job loss, miscarriage, death, relationship difficulties, or another issue — we can then move forward with positivity.
The alternative is to suppress our sadness. Suppressing sadness when it’s natural to grieve often leads to this grief arising in negative thought patterns, which can be difficult to combat. By extension, not allowing ourselves to feel sadness can prolong the grieving process.
Instead, we should allow ourselves to grieve and then find the practices that help us reintroduce joy to our lives.
Growing As a Person From Traumatic Experiences
Although Lauren Langman has faced painful experiences, she recognises that these have allowed her to develop as a coach.
When people are coping with their loved ones or dogs tackling cancer or other illnesses and disabilities, she can empathise. She has been there. She has learnt a huge amount about rehabilitation and can help support dogs who have disabilities.
Lauren Langman’s father, who has terminal cancer, encourages her to find joy in every moment, even when this feels difficult. She now seeks joy in every event. She gives the example of a 22-hour car journey home after feeling disappointed in her result at a competitive dog sports event. Rather than fuelling her disappointment with negative thoughts, she turned this journey into a fun road trip that she got to enjoy with her partner.
Since her father received his cancer diagnosis, Lauren Langman has made several other changes to her life. She only felt “awake” enough to make these changes in light of the diagnosis. She now:
- Carefully selects skincare and household cleaning products, avoiding products with chemicals and toxins.
- Doesn’t drink tap water, instead sourcing her water from a borehole at Devon Dogs and Bowerland Holiday Cottages.
- Does regular blood tests to check up on her health.
- Focuses on the ingredients in the foods she eats and checks how these foods have been produced.
- Considers her impact on the world and the sustainable practices she can embrace.
Overcoming Even the Most Difficult Challenges
When we focus on solutions and practise feeling positive, we can overcome even the most difficult challenges. In the context of dog training, Lauren Langman’s most difficult experience has been training a beagle in Bermuda.
This beagle had been contained by an electric “freedom fence,” taught using punishment methods, and didn’t have a strong relationship with their owner.
Lauren Langman launched a new training plan, which kicked off with helping the owner build a healthy bond with their dog. She calls this stage of the training “topping up” the dog’s relationship bank account. It’s essential to get the owner and dog on the same page and help them speak the same language before they focus on specific training goals.
She then showed the owner how to introduce fun games-based training. She explains that making training fun is essential, using the analogy of a test that a child might take. While a test will likely be stressful, a challenge will likely be exciting. She repackages the dog training experience in a similar way to avoid stress and cultivate excitement.
The Joy of Dog Training
Being a dog trainer allows Lauren Langman to have fun, lose her inhibitions, roll around in the grass, and enjoy everything she enjoyed as a child. She loves seeing dog owners enjoy the same happiness as they lose (or perhaps find) themselves while training and bonding with their dogs.
Listen to Lauren Langman’s episode on the Women Thriving Unapologetically podcast: “How Positive Mindset Training Can Change Your Life.”
About Lauren Langman
Lauren Langman is the mind behind three businesses that guide dog handlers through a myriad of training challenges: Absolute Dogs, Devon Dogs, and Bowerland Holiday Cottages. Her blend of innovative games, reward-focused training, and dog-owner relationship-building has made training easy for dog owners worldwide. Her training approach has no room for negative language, stressful training, or punishment.
Lauren Langman’s dog training journey began during her university days, when she launched training classes on Saturdays. She soon scaled these classes into a flourishing family business. She appeared with her parents on the television show Relocation Relocation, where they secured a barren site and transformed this into the Devon Dogs training site.
Aside from crafting the training strategies for Devon Dogs and Absolute Dogs, Lauren Langman is widely recognised as the host of the Sexier Than a Squirrel podcast, the author of multiple dog training books like There’s a Trick for That! and Game on! Puppy, and a world championship agility competitor. She has also co-created a wealth of training resources, including the Absolute Dogs videos, courses, and DVDs like Leash Off, Game On.