The Touch that really matters.
People always get so concerned in initial consultations when I talk about affection. Tonight I met with a couple that constantly pet their very nervous reactive shepherd mix while she often thought about biting me simply for standing up or moving.
It’s very important to understand when affection and touch is a good thing and when it is a very wrong thing to do.
To put it simple – Too much mindless on -going affection is seen as weakness from a dog. Even if they love you and adore you- They see you as weak. They don’t trust that you can really take care of them when it matters. We give our dogs endless amounts of affection because it makes us feel good, without thinking of how it affects their state of mind when they are under stress. We do it more for us than for them. This is the truth.
If we become very very present with our dogs – you will come to see when touch and affection is the exact right thing to do. It’s truly an energetic response to a need that creates calm rather than anxiety
Let me see if I can give you an example.
My dogs get loads of exercise and then I come home -I put them in downstays on their beds , after their dinner and while I have a multitude of tasks to do before relaxing in front of the TV. As I walk around the house – I see that they are alert watching me but not leaving their downstay. After about 30 minutes I come over and sit with them and lovingly pet them for about five minutes each and immediately they go into a full relaxed state of rest and sleep. They simply needed my reassuring touch to enter deep relaxation.
If we become very present and intuitive about touch – it’s almost like you can read your dogs mind to know when he needs it and when it is not in his best interest. It’s really a profound experience of awareness.🙏