Paul W Dungey
"To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often"- Winston Churchill
We have all been there, we walk in the front door and find that fido our beloved pet dog has left us a surprise package by the back door or tried to recreate the Andrex toilet roll adverts (other loo rolls are available), or they chew that delicious looking TV remote!
What do we say "bad boy or bad girl!". They then give that look or sad face that we perceive to be a sign of guilt and acknowledging the blame for their crime.
I recently read a quote (from starwars!)
"Droids(robots) are not good or bad , they are neutral reflections of those that imprint them"
Being the dog obsessed person that I am, that quote instantly resonated with me about our closest friends and companions- our dogs.
replace the word droid with dogs.
"Dogs are not good or bad ,they are neutral reflections of those that imprint them"
What do I think this means?
Well, when a dog comes into this world as a puppy, it joins us a a blank canvass. Yes she has her chosen breed, which gives her certain traits and behaviours but they generally grow up to be the dog we create in terms of behaviour and how they interact with the world.
so when your dog gives you those sad eyes to ''acknowledge'' she has done something wrong when you come in and see their work, they are actually reacting to your tone of voice and energy which reflects our disappointment and they react or reflect accordingly.
This doesn't mean they don't have their own personalities, of course they do but we often ''humanise'' our own traits and emotions onto our dogs and read their expresssions in the same way we might from another human or a child we speak to. But we need to remember they are a different species from us and although they have blessed our lives by choosing to live alongside us and enhance our lives, they are still a totally different species and their reactions and interactions are different from ours.
We all do it, share our every thought and feeling with our dog, pouring out our thoughts for the day or how fed up we are with so and so, how our day was and what our plans are, whilst our beloved best friend sits looking and listening. How wonderful for us that we have a friend that is all consuming and intent on hearing our every word. Infact they just have a bonding and unconditional love for us that they do appear to listen to us and take on ever thing we say, but the truth is they are feeling our energy and watching our body language and then reflect our emotions from their perspective, showing compassion because they feel we maybe aren't right in that moment.
It's a perfect companion for us because they don't talk back but just listen and then sit with us, which in this crazy world we live in is what we need.
So going back to original statement -
'' dogs are not good or bad, they are neutral reflections of those that imprint them''.
If we show and portray to our dogs a calm assertive energy and that of confidence in any situation that may arise they will reflect that too and become a more confident animal because of the leadeship she is being shown. This may not always come easy to us because we carry our own ''baggage'' and emotions and thoughts about the world we embrace everyday, but as we try and make the world a safe place for our dogs by showing them we are confident within it, we actually grow and change ourselves because we may walk a little taller and the mutual confidence we bring to each other increases our bond with our dog and gradually we reflect each others behaviour.
When I am priviledged to go into a families life and help with their dogs behaviour, part of the ''training'' is I tell them when walking their dog to envision a hero of theirs and show the confidence and leadership that hero may portray to them. For example, for me I have 2 heroes, one is Jesus[not the footballer, the God one!], His calm, loving, compassionate but assertive leadership style lets me Invision how I can behave around not only dogs but people I meet on a day to day level. So if a dog is unruly on a lead walk, I may take a deep breath and ''pull'' on the traits of Jesus to bring a calm assertive leadership through the lead to show the dog, the world is ok. her reflection is to then relax too because they feel that change in energy [along with a treat for good behaviour!].
if you are struggling with showing your dog the leadership she needs, trying thinking of your own role model or hero and think about their traits and how they portray themselves and adopt that persona, it may help you walk tall too.
I'm a firm believer in the fact that if we show our dogs the way to go from a puppy age, they will grow up into well rounded adults. of course there will be blips along the way as they grow but if we offer the right reflection of energy and behaviour for them to follow it will lead to a ''happy dog, happy home'' scenario for life.
oh! and my other hero/role model is Winston Churchill.
Thanks for reading. feel free to ask me questions or more at
until next time....