As the holidays wane and we settle into a New Year, many of us are also adding
new dogs to our homes or adjusting to a dog who is getting on in years. Here are two gifts you can give you and your dog this year to have a great year and a stronger bond.
Reiki, acupuncture, EFT, chakra clearing and flower essences aren’t just for people. Most physical and behavioral issues have an energetic and emotional component to them. At least 60 percent of my work involves unplugging an owner from expectations that her dog will fail her, and helping by offering suggestions like these to help speed the process toward health and balance.
Training —for YOU, not just the dog..
As an animal communicator, one of the biggest problems I see with new and old dog owners is a resistance to training their dogs—It seems boring, time consuming, or
costly, or maybe you don’t trust yourself to follow through.
Somehow, we get a cute puppy and expect it to magically know not to chew, nip, jump up, or bark at other dogs. They should also automatically know to ask to go outside to potty. Although we yell at them not to bark at every hour of the day, they are just expected to “get it,” that they should bark just to go out for this one task.
Imagine how confused your dog is.
As a result, many pets are dumped at county shelters because they are “bad dogs,” instead of their human partners investing time and energy in helping them be successful.
The reality is, many people who love pets are big, old softies, and the cuddling idea looks cute, but all the structure of teaching commands and compliance seems mean, too constrictive or daunting. Trust me—dogs do not thrive in chaos. They either cow
er in fear, take a leadership role because you are not and become hyper-pushy with strangers, or run amok. You need to be the gentle leader of your house.
Group lessons are great with very young dogs. If your schedule is very busy, you have older dogs or rescue dogs, or a multi-dog household, it is a good idea to invest slightly more money in a trainer who will come to your home for two three-four hour sessions to teach you several commands at one time and do diligent practice. This can solve 90 percent of your concerns without making time to be at your local park once a week for six weeks, and address more than simple obedience concerns.
There are many great resources for this. The Alpha Dog Trainer, http://www.thealphadogtrainer.com/, is a personal favorite for in-home training, particularly for fearful or slightly aggressive dogs.
Is your dog already an A student? Great! Agility is a great way for you to work together and keep his mind and body active.
Please love your pets this year, and give them the gifts of time, energy work and great training to make this your best year yet. As always, I am here to help you understand your pet better!
(This article appears in the January/February issue of Radiance magazine as part of my regular column.)