I had a lovely conversation with a friend the other day and she reminded me of just how sensitive and smart our dogs can be and how smart humans are when we take the time to slow down and listen.
Dogs will often become anxious when we are anxious. If we understand that their anxiety feeds off ours, rather than trying to pretend “I am not anxious, I am not anxious, I am not anxious” which in my experience never fools a dog anyway! and is classic thinking if you have a reactive dog when you are out on a walk.
Look inwards to your own wisdom and you might see what is causing your own anxiety. Clue: it’s never the dog…….!! Once that has been addressed your anxiety really will be gone. yippee and a wonderful by product of this – there is a good chance your dog will also become less anxious and reactive.
The story she told me (names have been change to protect the innocent!) goes like this. Alison had always watched the game of Rugby with her family at the weekend as she has a house full of boys who love the excitement and high energy. Lovely family time or so it looked on the surface.
Every time they sat down to watch the match, their dog Jet became restless and anxious. Likely feeding off the high energy and excitement of the humans around her.
(Remember to a dog there is a very fine line between excited energy and anxious energy especially when directed towards an inanimate object which weirdly sometimes makes a barking noise, but is definitely not a dog! and is actually a TV screen. Anyone who has dogs that react to the TV will know what I am talking about here.)
Suddenly, Alison realised Jet is anxious AND so am I! She realised that if she took Jet from the room she would be able to relax and then, wait a minute if Alison leaves the room she also feels calm. Watching the game of Rugby is not for everyone, some people like it others don’t. Alison clearly didn’t really like it, but had not realised as she was so busy pleasing everyone else. Dogs can be really helpful when we take the time to listen to them.
Not always, but often when a dog is showing signs of being anxious and worried, it’s down to their humans anxiety and worry. Instead of trying to deal with the dogs behaviour, allow your dog to be your guide. Take the time to look inwards check in with your own wisdom and you might be surprised to find the answer is suddenly very obvious.
If you would like to find out more about how to improve your dogs behaviour take a look at my website http://www.juliehelpsyouhelpyourdog.co.uk or if you are experiencing some anxiety yourself take a look at http://www.alittlepieceofmind.co.uk
Peaceful paws always.