understanding dog behavior

When you change, your dog will change too

Reactive dog, aggressive dog, fearful dog, dog behavior | It’s not the dog that has to change! Change your own mindset and change your dog!  | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

I wrote recently about how a small change in your own mindset can trigger a dramatic change in your dog’s behaviour - without any “dog training” at all!

And I wanted to revisit this as it’s such an important - and little understood - part of the puzzle.

While we say “My dog is this, my dog does that,” it’s all about the dog. The dog is perceived as the problem. But the fact is that it’s the perception that is wrong!

Once people change their way of thinking and talking about their dog, they get massive change without having to do a thing.

Not only dogs …

As a child I was curious, questioning, always challenging what I was served up as gospel truth. So naturally, teachers didn’t like this and saw me as a threat (yes, even aged three …). So I was labelled “difficult”. I was the naughty child. 

This “knowledge” about me was passed on in reports and staff meetings, so that all new teachers were instantly brought up to speed with this troublemaker, instead of forming their own opinions from facts. The other children began to look to me for a response in new situations: I had a reputation to live up to! 

So my entire school life was coloured by a few instances in kindergarten and junior school - perpetuated despite the fact that I grew and changed. I came to believe these opinions myself. And then had to work through adulthood to shed this nonsense and develop my true self. (I can tell you that making prize-winning drawings and writing bestselling books was definitely not something those teachers foresaw for me!)

Back to dogs again

We have a much shorter time with our dogs - they simply don’t live long enough for us to spend years labelling them and predicting their poor behaviour based on our wrong assumptions.

And these wrong assumptions can creep into every corner of our lives with our dogs. 

Whenever you say “She always does this,” or “She never does that,” you are placing a permanent label on your dog. You are fixing in your mind that she cannot change, that she’s hardwired to behave in a certain way. 

Back to children - there’s a big difference between “You are an untidy child,” and “Your room is in a mess.” Or “You are a bad boy,” and “Was that a good thing to do?”

Focussing on the doing rather than the doer takes blame and finger-pointing out of the picture, leaving the way clear to solutions and change.

And while we look at the behavior rather than the perpetrator, we see that nothing could be further from the truth than the belief that your dog is hardwired to behave in a set fashion. It doesn’t matter how long your dog has been doing a certain thing - you can change it! 

  • She’s afraid of things? You can make her environment less scary while you countercondition her to better responses.

  • She’s boisterous and impulsive? You can teach impulse control and show her that she can get what she wants when she does what you want. There’s no need for confrontation, ordering about, “commanding”, having a battle over anything.

  • She annoys you by barking noisily, chewing the furniture, messing up the house? Manage! Train! Once you realise that these things are just what the dog IS DOING, and not what the dog IS, you can change it all.

Reactive dog, aggressive dog, fearful dog, dog behavior | It’s not the dog that has to change! Change your own mindset and change your dog!  | FREE EMAIL COURSE | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy
Not on fighting the old
But on building the new


“Socrates” by Dan Millman


I learn a lot from my students, as well as from my dogs!

I’m delighted to watch my online students develop. The penny drops! They see where they have gone wrong in the past, not helped their dog. Sometimes they have unwittingly followed bad advice from the multitude of awful “trainers” and tv personalities out there, and actually made things worse.

But today is a new day! 

Tear off a new sheet!

Start from where you are and head forward!

It’s a joy seeing things improve for them without their needing extra gadgets, lockdown, extreme control.

They see that opposition is just as unhelpful in their relationship with their dog as it is in their relationship with a friend or spouse. Embracing their friend’s likes and dislikes is part of the friendship. Empathy for their fears and foibles is essential to a strong bond.

And a new life opens up for them with their dog, whom they can now view with different eyes. 

 

Check out this email course that will get you started on the change!

THIS E-COURSE IS A BONUS FOR YOU WHEN YOU SIGN UP TO RECEIVE EDUCATIONAL EMAILS AND OCCASIONAL OFFERS FROM ME. YOU CAN UNSUBSCRIBE AT ANY TIME. Privacy Policy

 

 

Free Live 5 Day Workshop for your *Growly* but Brilliant Family Dog

Reactive dog, dog afraid of tv, aggressive dog, fearful dog, dog behavior | How to enjoy watching animal programs on tv without your dog going ballistic! | FREE LIVE WORKSHOP | #aggressivedog, #reactivedog, #dogtraining, #growlydog, #fearfuldog | www.brilliantfamilydog.com

I can honestly say I’m blown away by the response to my invitation to a free Live 5 Day Workshop for your Growly but Brilliant Family Dog

Well over a thousand people have registered, and most of them are busy introducing themselves and making friends in the private forum.

I decided to offer this week of free training because I see so many people struggling with difficult dogs. They love their dog and they often have no idea why she’s acting so awkward when out and about.

This isn’t helped when it’s a rescue dog with little back-up from the people who homed the dog with them. If you’re new to owning a dog, a rescue dog with a traumatic past is not necessarily the best introduction to this exciting and privileged new world of interacting with another species! 

There is so much misinformation about - from describing the dog as “dominant”, “stubborn”, “obstinate”, or even “he’s doing it to annoy you”. There are many self-proclaimed experts about who say “he just needs to learn his place”, “you need to be harder on him”, or “you need to use this or that (nasty) gadget to get results,” showing you something that wouldn’t have found house-room in The Inquisition.

So don’t flounder about wondering who to listen to.

Listen to your own instincts.

If it’s suggested you do something nasty to the dog in your care - whom you love! - follow your heart and firmly say “No”. We don’t need to beat or punish our children, and we don’t need to do it to the animals we choose to give a home to either. 

But he does seem stubborn!

Want to know what your dog really thinks? He’s not stubborn - he’s afraid. Afraid to go forwards, afraid to incur your displeasure, afraid of the world. But it’s fear, not stubbornness. Or dominance, or any of that other nonsense put about by people who are talking through their hats.

This post may help you with all of that.

If you feel tempted to describe your dog in a negative way, try looking at it from another angle. Instead of labelling him as difficult, stubborn, whatever ... try fears, is anxious, worries ...

And you may be surprised to know that it’s not so much months of hands-on training that will change your shy, reactive, anxious, aggressive - growly - dog into the companion you want. A lot of it is in your own head!

Have a look at this recent email from a reader:

“Firstly thank you for your wonderful book, it has really helped me understand the reason why my little girl Bess reacts the way she does.

Just by reading your first growly dog book, I have realised that she is terrified of strangers. We are working on the steps and I am slowly seeing huge improvement.”

Now it was Bess’s owner who changed her view and got success. Bess didn’t have to change at all!

A simple change in your own outlook and behaviour can have marvellous results in the way your dog responds.

And that’s what people are learning in this Workshop!

As Karen said:

"One of the best things I have done, the workshop taught me so much."

How do I get in on this?

Come and join our free 5 Day Video Workshop and learn. There were well over a thousand people from all round the world already happily meeting, encouraging and enthusing each other in the private group. Friendships were made that will last. 

What do they have in common? A desire to make life with their difficult dog better without doing anything nasty. At all. They all understand how alone you can be, and people are already feeling less isolated with their dog.

While the Workshop is specifically geared for those of you with reactive, anxious, fearful, aggressive - Growly! - dogs, in fact anyone will learn a lot about how to build a relationship with their dog. And they’ll also have a lot more empathy for the Growly Dog owner who they may have disdained previously as being inadequate and unable to control their dog.

As you’ll discover, it’s not about control!

 

Head over to the registration page and join us! You can join in with all the lessons and video trainings from the original 5 Day Workshop!