As the program Practical Happiness for Animal Lovers gets bigger and bigger, we’ll come across more people who will need advice about techniques with their dog and dog training in difficult situations is not my area of expertise. 🙂
Please don’t send me every dog trainer that you come across, I won’t have time to look at them all. If you’ve been reading my blog and done the 9 Keys to Happiness with your Horse, then you know the style of dog trainer that I’m looking for. It’s someone with compassion, with Feel for the dog they’re working with, with innate kindness and a willingness and ability to understand where the dog is coming from, with techniques that are congruent with all of that – just like we do with horses here.
I’m looking for people that you KNOW that fit this criteria.
There’s a gathering and beautiful escalation of re-homing, sometimes even rescuing older dogs before buying puppies. The combination of our connected work that people are learning on Practical Happiness for Animal Lovers and a trainer with kind techniques, has the ability to help dogs who have learned problematic behaviors change those and even help animals that have been traumatized, to release their tension and recover their confidence.
So please keep your eyes open folks and let me know if you come across such a paragon.
The story that prompted this search
Here’s the story that prompted my desire to connect with a kind dog trainer today – straight from an email in the Happiness program. I haven’t had time to ask her permission, so I’ve changed the name. 🙂
I did a private session yesterday with a lady and her dog that brought home to me again just how big a deal it is – how loving animals makes it sooo much easier to feel and understand and use our connection to others for positive change and how powerful that is for our own happiness and well being.
Her dog was adopted at 7 months old after spending a long time on the end of a chain because he was too boisterous for the original family’s small children and had developed neural pathways that made it quite difficult for him to learn. Neural pathways cause us to react on auto pilot in the same way that we learned earlier in life and we continue to react in that way because of those established neural pathways, even if that reaction isn’t useful to us.
He was such a gorgeous personality, with a big wagging tail and a huge desire to please – but at the first frown (and gosh his behavior was such that there was very much to frown about!) it was like he cringed a little and went far away inside himself and stopped thinking. In four years, although Anne had achieved some progress with enormous patience, he was still boisterous, jumping up, over excited and knocking people and things over and his mind was usually switched off for learning.
Although she’d had a couple of private healing sessions on herself, in ONE session working with Rocco – working with Inner Awareness like you’ve been learning to do in your Quiet Minds – Anne learned to listen to and feel him, she established a base where he was able to listen to her and THINK and then she expanded that base to be able to have him come inside, still calm, still thinking and in control of himself. It was a MAJOR woohoo!
For those who are interested in how we achieved that change so fast
For those who are interested in the process, Anne had also recently started working with a lovely local dog trainer who specialized in a kind approach and helping rehomed dogs. It’s that combination which prompted me to look for an on line person to help people too.
We started our healing session with Rocco by having a cup of tea and a relaxed conversation and not paying any attention to him at all.
After he was relaxed just with my presence, I approached and retreated from the glass door, backing off and sitting down and having another relax into our cup of tea every time Anne felt anxious. She very quickly settled in to feeling her connection to her dog and was able to use that connection – feeling his relaxation, feeling his anxiety, feeling his tension in HER body and in HER breathing – to know when to tell me to back off.
After a few times of backing off to his tension and anxiety, the feel of him changed and we started to feel him thinking. We stopped and appreciated the heck out of that. Then we started to feel him thinking even when I stood up and approached the door.
From that moment, instead of backing away when he felt anxious, we backed away every time Anne could feel that he’d stopped THINKING – and in no time at all, we had let him in the house, calm and in control of himself and sooo incredibly pleased with himself. He even started to jump up, realized that his owner didn’t want that, changed his mind and sat down. Bless his little cotton socks!
The whole process took about 2 hours, including the cups of tea. 🙂
Although Anne will need to continue his training with this new ability to listen / feel him, Rocco’s neural pathways changed in one session. One session!
And here’s an even bigger woohoo! Anne’s own well being improved while we were working with her dog. Think about it – now they are each helping the other to RELAX. The power of that escalation of the positive!
The photo was taken by Marie Richards from New Zealand and is of her own dog, recently re-homed with her. He’s landed in the right place there, bless him!