Good morning. Today’s post is to provide clarity about one of Ben’s issues: Human reactivity.
I have stated several times that I have been told – meaning: others have told me – that Ben is “color-reactive”. At no time have I ever personally used that term. Because, for one thing, there’s no such thing as color reactivity, and secondly, dogs are not and cannot be racist. Racism is a highly complex brain process only humans possess. As I’ve said a thousand times already, dogs are all about energy and body language; how a dog acts around a human is dependent upon what kind of energy or vibration that human is emitting. Color has nothing to do with it.
Having said that (and hopefully, clearing up any remaining confusion), I met with a couple yesterday who kindly volunteered to help me work with Ben’s apparent “color” issue. This was the result:
Ben is reactive – yes, he is. But only to human men – and only to men who give him direct eye contact for too long, and who do not present calm energy. There is no color issue. There never was. His experiences in Mexico centered around abusive human males. But I have taken Ben into places where there are people of all colors – some of them, brown-skinned – and he did not become reactive to them. They spoke with me, they looked at him but did not stare at him, we had a nice conversation… and Ben was just fine. He did show nervousness when a store manager, who is white (Caucasian), gave him prolonged direct eye contact. But when I told the man Ben is reactive and he stopped looking at Ben, Ben settled down again.
I’ve been told Ben is reactive to young children. I’ve introduced him to my granddaughters, and he had no problem with them. He did show a little too much interest in some toddlers yesterday during the session with Jared and Jacqueline [the people in the video above], but he was immediately redirected, and he was fine. The same thing happened when a man brought his small dog close to where we were; Ben started fixating, he had to be redirected a few times, but eventually, he settled down and relaxed.
Ben is making really good progress. Yesterday was a huge victory for him. He is finally breaking free of the chains that have bound him for so long.
Have a great day, and remember to stay calm and lead on…