When You Think You Can't Handle Your Dog Anymore, But This Changes Everything
When you have a challenging dog, whether they are anxious, reactive, fearful, overexcited, resource guarders, overly stimulated, high drive hunter type, deaf, health problems, or challenging in some other way; you wonder, "What if you can't make things better? Is there a way to make peace with that?" It's hard being in that position.
So many people over the years have come to me on the brink of breakdown. It sucks, especially when you love your dog. You see the good parts, but others mostly see the frustration that seeps out of you and your dog.
You see all the things that you could, no, that you should still be trying for your dog.
So now you torture yourself with thoughts like “I should be spending more time and money on my dog, on training, on ruling out medical issues, etc.”. But where does it end?
Your stress and anxiety levels are rising and you may be doing your dog more harm than good.
If this is you, then the best work you can be doing for your dog and your loved ones is on you! On your mindset. It’s not selfish, it’s not frivolous, it’s the one investment you can make that is guaranteed to pay off.
You are 50% of the relationship with your dog, and you are the only part of the relationship you have control over, so it makes sense to start there!
Dogs do tend to reflect the behavior of their people. Think about it... have you ever started hanging around with someone and you end saying phrases they use? You start liking and disliking similar things. You can get in good or bad moods depending on how they enter the room.
So it would make sense that dog's are picking up a lot of things you have no idea you're projecting.
Over the years of working with people and their dogs, I've also noted more times than not, that getting the dog you want isn't the case, instead you get the dog you need. The one who in the end teaches you patience. Teaches you that being perfect isn't any fun. Teaches you that letting go of anxiety is a practice that ripples throughout your whole being...
Start feeling better today. Bring your dog along with you!
Listen to Dr. Russell Kennedy's interview with me all about dealing with high functioning anxiety in ourselves and our dogs and join the Calming the Chaos Experiment.
Your dog will love you for it. And so will everyone else including yourself.