Open mind, different view
As you may or may not know I am a Dog Listener, we use the dog’s own natural instincts and ‘laws’ to work for you and to better understand how the dog sees his world. It is an amazing way to communicate with dogs and it works because it was created by watching wolves in the wild, how they interact in a pack i.e. your family, how their heirarchy works (who’s the decision maker) and what are their survival motivators (food).
Did you know that most dogs living in most homes today think they are the pack leader? I hear owners say ‘No fido isn’t! I make him sit and wait before feeding him’ or ‘fido will do anything I say, I’m the boss’ or ‘I dont let my dog on the furniture or go through the door before me’.
Ok here are a few things to look for which you may not have even noticed before which tells someone like me that your dog is making decisions in your home and thinks he/ she is the Big Dog.
1. Your dog follows you around the house when you’re at home
2.Your dog sits at a high point in your house, like on the back of the sofa (looking out the window), at the top of your stairs, or even just on your favourite chair
3. Your dog is a fussy eater or doesn’t eat much, therefor you leave food down all day for them
4. Your dog initiates play or fuss, they come over and lean on you, drop a toy or ball in your lap or jump all over you when you come home
5. You dont walk the dog, the dog takes you for a walk!
Sound familiar? If so then you have been giving mixed signals to your dog and in the confussion your dog has become the decision maker of the pack. A very stressfull place to be if you dont know what you’re doing! Most dog’s dont even want this job, not all dogs grow up to be a pack leader and therefor they get themselves in trouble….. we call it behavioural problems!
Here’s what people think about the behaviours I have listed above first
1. My dog loves me
2. He likes to watch the world go by, it’s his favourite spot or he’s keeping my seat warm
3. He’s not greedy or a little picky so it’s easier if he helps himself
4. My dog loves it when I come home, he’s so pleased to see me and loves to play games with me
5. He love’s his walks and getting out… he’s energetic
We humanise our dogs more now than ever before and they are paying the price for it with a stressfull job they dont want. Therefore they are then becoming obsessive, compulsive, neurotic pets to some degree and it affects their health just like us humans.
Here is what the dog is doing in the scenarios above from the way he/ she sees the world
1. I am the leader – This is my baby and I have to make sure nothing happens to them while they are in my care so they aren’t getting out of my sight
2. This is my viewpoint to the world where I can see what’s coming and protect my babies, it is my right as leader/ decision maker to have the highest point and claim it
3. I am the leader and I have food so my pack can survive
4. I am the leader and you will give me attention when I ask for it
5. I am the leader so I must go ahead and make sure it is safe for my pack/ baby
What stands out more to you, that your dog is manipulating you or that they are doing a lot of very stressfull jobs? Hopefully the latter and that you want to change that. You can.
I’ll be writing more about this soon so stay tuned!