I connect through my heart to see what life looks like from the dog’s perspective. Then I address specific issues using respectful communication and energetic healing.
He was given up by his family for biting
I recently worked with a dog who had bitten people numerous times. The family gave him up to a rescue group in Colorado. The group reached out to Ana Melara of Grace Dog Training & Behavior. Ana brought him under her wing and contacted me to see what we might do together.
Looking at his picture, I heard the words, “stone cold killer.” There’s a phrase trainers use called “the hard stare/hard eye.” He had it.
He had difficulty letting me in. He had decided people were untrustworthy and hurtful. Not all aggressive dogs are the result of human abuse. But the information I received when I connected indicated there had been abuse somewhere in this dog’s life. I explained that not all people were hurtful. I asked him to look into my heart. From there, we communicated more deeply.
Then came some energy healing. One of my favorite techniques is “baby love.” I re-purposed it into “puppy love.” I gave him the experience of being loved and seen as a delightful dog from conception to the present. This countered the not-so-good memories.
Abuse as a misuse of power
Ana and I got into a discussion about how abusers deny another being the power to say NO. They make them do it anyway or do it to them anyway. (These are the serious boundary violations we are discussing; I am not talking about making your teenagers clean up their room!) The being on the receiving end may feel a loss of the power to navigate the world safely; they may use aggression to say NO.
We worked on giving the dog his power back so he didn’t need aggression to assert himself. We definitely saw an improvement in his behavior. Listen to this full discussion in this podcast.
Where can we honor our animals’ preferences?
Our animals need to make some choices in their life. Of course, it should be in alignment with the family’s highest good. Some small examples:
- Leave them alone when they don’t want to play or be picked up
- Give them permission to behave imperfectly
- Let them sniff a bit longer at that delicious spot of grass
- When they sit on your laptop while you are trying to finish your article on an aggressive dog, scratch their ears and get another cup of tea
We can even honor the big preferences
- Asking a dog where he wants to live when his guardian is in hospice (through animal communication)