Canine Mirrors

Happy Saturday, everyone. For those of you dealing with Daylight Savings Time, don’t forget to “fall back” before you go to bed. Just a friendly reminder…

Today, I want to talk about honesty and the role it plays in training. You tell me Fido is being a bad boy. I ask you how you’re feeling when he’s misbehaving, and you tell me you’re calm but firm with him. I ask you to show me how you handle the situation, so you show me, but Fido refuses to listen to you. I ask you how you’re feeling, and you tell me you’re trying to be calm but you’re feeling frustrated because he’s not listening. I ask to take the leash, you hand it over, I give the dog a short, firm correction, and like magic, Fido stops the behavior and calms down.

Why? How did I do that? Why did he listen to me, but not to you?  The answer is, You gave him tension, but I gave him calm, assertive energy.

You see, dogs are all about energy and body language. The energy we give them, they give back to us through their behavior. If we are calm, they are calm; if we are tense, they are tense, and so on.

I know from experience that people don’t like hearing that they are contributing to or even causing their dog’s bad behavior. But if I’m going to help your dog, I’m going to be honest with you. You see, dogs are all about energy and body language. We humans can lie to ourselves and lie to each other about how we’re feeling, but no matter how we try, we cannot lie to our dogs. We can tell ourselves we’re calm until the cows come home, but if our energy and body language is not saying that, our dogs are going to show us that. They are the mirrors by which we measure our own state of being; by observing their behavior, we can truly know ourselves.

So, when I meet you and Fido and you tell me your side of the story, I will thank you for sharing and I’ll respect your perspective. But I will act on what Fido shows me, because he is reflecting you. Just like mirrors, dogs don’t lie…

Have a wonderful day and a wonderful weekend, and remember to stay calm and lead on…

2 Comments on “Canine Mirrors

  1. Great article. Our dog was bit by another dog at the vet a few weeks ago and ever since then I have become a little scared/hesitant when I am walking her and we meet another dog, I know that she will sense my energy so I try very hard to change my thinking to positive thoughts so she doesn’t feed off my energy. She is a super friendly dog and I sure don’t want to change that about her:)

    • I’m so sorry to hear your girl was bitten – and at the vet’s office, of all things… :O Good on you for checking your energy, though, and being aware of how it can affect your dog. ::thumbs-up:: I hope your girl won’t have any lasting effects from her unpleasant experience; how fortunate she is to have an energy-aware owner with her to help her move forward. 🙂


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