Dog Behaviour & Communication
Every dog is an individual and since one technique doesn’t fit all, I adapt my approach to suit each dog’s needs. There are so many different factors that can affect a dog’s behaviour from breed, genetics, the quality of a pup’s lessons from its Mother, age weaned, its first introductions, health, character of its owner and the list goes on……Couple this with an identity that each pup has been born with, one that has been hard wired into its make up, giving it traits and characteristics that best suit its role. This role supports the puppy’s family and facilitates its function within it, a role that makes that pup part of a working team.
Some traits are therefore ingrained. The learned ones are the responsibility of the Mother and then the owner. The job is to teach pup how to behave, communicate and be true to its identity, enabling each pup to work harmoniously within its family. If a pup is allowed to stray from its true identity and learn traits not related to its role, this can cause confusion, insecurity and compensatory behaviours such as aggression, anxiety, over confidence, obsession and phobias. Traits perceived by owners as undesired, unmanageable and problem behaviours.
Which is exactly what these behaviours are – undesired, unmanageable and sometimes dangerous and frightening. This is where I come in…..I teach owners how to connect and communicate with and then understand and work with their dogs. I help dogs rediscover who they are and teach them how to work within the parameters of their true identity. For example, it would be unfair and unrealistic to expect a shy, reserved, introverted person to stand up in front of an audience and give sales speeches as a career. That person would better suit a role within their means. The same works for dogs.
Owners choose a dog to be a part of their life and/or family. Decisions are mostly based upon a dog’s breed, looks or we feel the dog ‘chose’ us for some reason. We may consider activity levels, a dog’s history, its lineage, its treatment (if a rescue dog). We ask questions, such as, “Is it friendly with other dogs, children, cats or people?”
We expect dogs to then ‘fit in’ or to behave as the dog before it did: within our family, our home, our life and our ever changing environments (emotional and geographical). Sometimes we choose a dog with a character that doesn’t suit our family. Sometimes we choose a dog that perfectly suits our family but we lack the skills to communicate. We then teach behaviours we never meant to or the dog takes on roles it feels are lacking within its family.
We expect a dog to ‘get on’ with every dog it meets, an unrealistic task, just as no person can possibly ‘get on’ with every person they meet. We miss cues from our dogs and don’t notice it telling us that we are expecting too much. We misunderstand valuable communication from a happy, balanced dog as undesirable behaviour. Dogs are, to a degree, very adaptable but often are being expected to function beyond their means.
If you relate to any of the above, cut yourself some slack! Dogs are delightfully complicated and we all need help understanding and communicating with them from time to time. They are reactive to our every emotion, invisibly sometimes, so when you can’t understand why your dog is ‘playing up’ maybe he has sensed the road rage you experienced on your way to work, eight hours after the event and doesn’t trust your leadership skills. Yes dogs really are this astute. These are clever, instinctual but also insightful animals we are sharing our lives with. Breakdowns in communication happen, it’s ok and actually admirable to ask for help. It means that an owner truly cares for and wants a balanced relationship with their dog.
Your dog’s behaviour maybe frustrating but will never be for no reason. Everything is a conversation. My job is to translate and teach the difference and then how to respond. Learn how to communicate and then you can be whoever your your dog needs you to be in every situation.
Very often, people live with problem behaviours without realising it. They mould their lives around these behaviours in order to cope. If you feel as if your life is being controlled by your dog, I can help.
I work on a one-to-one basis, teaching you how to understand your dog, read body language and turn around behaviours that are making life difficult. I have experience with a wide variety of breeds and ages of dogs and I use kind, positive training methods, communication, leadership skills and lots of patience. Reconnect with your dog as a whole.
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.