Day 15: When it Comes to Dogs, Cats Run the Show
I mentioned in a previous post about Trace’s “encounter” with the cat outside. Well today he faced the same cat. He didn’t have that jolt of his physical center of gravity, though, he was still a bit curious. Our initial meeting between Trace and the kitty allowed us to establish a new charge for him so that he could rechannel that cat energy back to the human. Well, today he called up that flow pattern we started and went as far as touching noses with the cat. Mind you, it also helped that the cat reflected Trace’s energy back at him and he began to wag his tail just like he did a few days ago. No, honey, I’m not saying we should get a cat (but we really should) ;). But it is just fascinating how Natural Dog Training has begun to get the dogs back to their puppy mind/body.
We worked Bella a good bit with sit-down-stay-heel and repeated. I began to get frustrated when my corrections didn’t soften her into a down. But Kevin made an interesting point: basically that some of my previous “positive” training from years back might be triggering a stress response that caused her to lock up. So, if that happens you readjust and work through it. Part of it too was for me to do some self-reflection. What I identified after some processing was that I was starting to get pissed off and that showed through my body-language. Even the slightest predatory behavior on my part threw her off a bit. So, we went at it again with a down stay and I relaxed and she did very well. You can really tell a dog is soft when their shoulders are relaxed and they are light on their feet. Bella got to a point where she was trotting around like she owned the place. After a while we took her into the woods for some search-and-rescue work and she did pretty well for the most part. We still need to get her more consistent with heeling on a walk and slow down the impulse for her to charge ahead of us. We maintain this with periodic down-stays to get her back into our flow pattern.
Its funny how as we open the pipe back up for our dogs, that can sort of loosen the chunks of deep inner stress and they come to surface for them. For me, Bella showed me (energetically) how my own deep inner stress could come up and clog my own pipe. After all, this whole time I am learning how I need to do things differently with the dogs.
Dogs are never wrong. Dogs are never wrong. Dogs are never wrong.
Trust your dog, they will show you who you are and that’s a gift no other living being can give you to the degree your dog can.