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How do You Feel about your Dog's Behaviour?


Our dogs bring us immense joy, laughter, love, and unwavering companionship. However, there are times when things don't go as planned. Our dogs may exhibit unexpected character traits and behaviors, suffer from poor health or pain, or struggle to cope in social situations. These factors not only create stress for our dogs but also trigger a range of emotional responses within us, including disappointment, sadness, heartache, and sometimes, feeling overwhelmed.

As dog-parents and guardians, it's crucial to recognize that experiencing these emotions is a universal aspect of the journey we share with our canine companions.

Seeking Solutions and Looking Within: When faced with these challenges, we have two choices: we can allow ourselves to be overwhelmed by our emotions and seek external blame, or we can reach out and find support for ourselves and our dogs. That's where experienced, knowledgeable and understanding canine behavior practitioners, come in.

However, there's one unexpected piece of advice I have for you: in order to help your dog re-habilitate, heal, find balance and self-confidence, you need to look within yourself.

Uncovering Our Inner World:

I believe that our dogs' behavior, no matter how it manifests, presents a remarkable opportunity for us to uncover hidden aspects of ourselves that we may not have realized or have buried and forgotten.

It's a chance for personal growth and healing - if we are open to it. We all get triggered by our dogs' actions or inactions at some point. For instance, you might have a shy and fearful dog that prevents you from showering them with the affection you long to give. Perhaps your dog's reactivity and anxiety strain your relationship and limit your ability to go out and live the life you envisioned.

Here's what I have realised after working with many dogs and their guardians over the years: These triggers all stem from one primal emotion: FEAR

Common Fears Experienced by Dog Guardians:

Let's explore some of the common fears that can arise in dog parenting and see which ones resonate with you:

Fear of judgment: We fear what others might think or say about our dogs, and by extension, what they might think of us for not having our dogs' behavior under control.

Fear of being seen: Our dogs' reactive or disruptive behavior in social situations can make us feel embarrassed and uncomfortable with the attention it brings.

Fear of conflict: We desire harmony and politeness from our dogs, and their barking, snapping, or lunging at others can trigger discomfort and a longing for peaceful interactions.

Fear of not being good enough: Doubts creep in, making us question our abilities as a parent, guardian, or teacher for our dogs. We may feel unequipped to help them through their trauma or support them in times of need.

Fear of failure and disappointment: We worry that our dogs will never change, that we've failed them, and that the life we dreamed of sharing with them will remain elusive.

Fear of responsibility: The weight of caring for a sensitive dog with special needs can be overwhelming, as we strive to give them the best life while also maintaining our own.

Fear of loss of control: The trauma and experiences that shaped our dogs may make us fear losing control over their behavior, resulting in potential harm to others or themselves.

Fear of loss: Knowing that our dogs will eventually leave this world fills us with a profound sense of loss and the grief that will inevitably follow.

Understanding our emotional reactions to our dog's behavior is a crucial step towards growth and finding harmony in our relationship with them. By recognizing and addressing our own fears, we can embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing, unlocking the missing pieces of the puzzle within ourselves.

Remember, it's natural to experience a range of emotions as a dog parent, and you are not alone in this journey. Seek out the guidance of experts, who can provide the knowledge and support needed to navigate these challenges.

Embrace this opportunity for personal growth, and together, we can create a stronger bond with our beloved four-legged companions.

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