I’m hanging out with a recently rescued hound later today and I am excited. When you see a dog that has been given a second chance, surrounded by love and with humans who understand that patience and consistency are at the heart of a harmonious life with their new family member, it restores all faith in human nature.
With this hound, I don’t have any history yet. I don’t know why he’s doing the things he’s doing but I can be sure that he’s not comfortable in certain situations. So, we’re going to hang out, spend some time with his family and go through the ways that we can teach this gorgeous soul that all is well in his world now. That doesn’t mean he has to fit into a ‘perfectly well behaved’ box, whatever that is, it means that we’ll listen to what he’s telling us, have various cues and games that will help him learn that he’s safe and most importantly of all, not worry if he wants to tell us he’s not happy.
He’s not doing anything wrong, he’s coping the best way he knows how and we’re going introduce some new mechanisms for him (and his humans) to build his resilience and in turn, bring calm and security into his world.
We know that there’s a difference between experiencing trauma and the day to day stresses of modern life. Sometimes we don’t need to go over and over these things, trying to understand why we’re feeling a certain way or where that emotional response stems from. If we deleted our history, just for a moment and allowed ourselves to simply feel our emotions, without judgement, would we see things differently?
If we had a bank of cues and games that helped to lift us out of an emotional response, would we use them? Would we then incorporate them into our daily lives and gradually realise we’re not feeling those negative feelings nearly as often. Would we take away any judgement associated with how we’re feeling and make a choice? Sometimes, we might choose to just go to bed and sleep it off, sometimes we might choose to race around a field to burn off the excess energy, sometimes we might just need the human equivalent of a Kong to focus our mind and body on something other than our emotions (that’s a pot of my favourite tea, Jaffa Cakes and a good book)!
If you have answered ‘YES’ to a desire to create your own bank of cues and games in order to build your resilience, we have the perfect opportunity for you. You can join us (the human and a canine co-tutor) for an awesome day of doing just that, dog training for humans!
Everything you need to know can be found here.