Hello and welcome back, in our last blog post we discussed how dog psychology varies greatly to human psychology, and how using human psychology to relate to your dog is not only ineffective, but detrimental to the happy life structure of your furry friend.
When a child is anxious, the mother comforts him and lets him know everything is going to be OK. The child feels better as he rationalizes and understands his situation. When a dog is anxious and the owner comforts him, he believes he is being rewarded and his brain is wired to think “anxious behavior is acceptable in my pack”.
One of the most common questions we get from our clients is “Does my dog understand me?”
Like we mentioned before, your dog CAN understand you, but you must be able to speak in a language that he responds to. A dog must know the defined acceptable behaviors, through consistent structure, provided by you.
When your dog is anxious, the best way to work within that situation is to lead by example. Let’s say that your dog is afraid of a thunder storm … rather than picking him up and telling him everything is going to be OK, rather than yelling at him, you can simply set your dog next to you, not touching him, remain calm, and ride the storm out together. Your dog will feed off of your energy and if you are calm, unaffected by the storm, your dog will be too.
For most folks this method will require lots of practice and specific understanding of situations that affect YOUR dog and how to react to them.
We invite you to make an appointment today to meet with a Denver Dog Trainer where we will go over these methods and more. Let us walk with you on the path to a wonderful lifelong relationship with your furry friend!