The other day I went to my beautiful friend’s house. We got into a fight which was unintended. He loudly screamed at me with anger, “Get Out!” and I realized my fear of anger. My fear of anger was so strong that it took two times for him to yell it before I could move. I actually froze. When I left I slammed the door.
The next day I was walking my dog. Some dogs were barking at Seiki behind a fence. The dogs were barking to tell my dog that this was their territory. It was very similar to my friend’s angry voice. As Seiki had a impulse to bark. I did some training with him to calm him down and remind him that he can be at peace. As he looked at the dogs and he was quiet, I clicked and treated him. This allowed him to look at the situation (the barking dogs) and realize that it was no big deal.
This incident was very similar to the situation that I had with my friend. As the angry dogs were barking, Seiki could bark right back at them asking them to be quiet or whatever he says in the dog world. I don’t pose to get into the dog’s heads and know everything they are thinking. He also had a choice to fill the situation with love and peace.
Dogs are not so different than humans. They have choices just like us. Do we make a big deal about something or do we learn to save our energy for finding solutions for bigger problems? Most situations are really just trivialities. If we choose to fill them with love and light our world is a happier place.
As a dog trainer I realize dogs can learn alternate behaviors just as we can. They are also complete reflections of us. As I learn to love anger in others and fill the situations with peace Seiki will learn the same.
What have you allowed your dog to teach you today?
Johanna Teresi, Professional Owner and Trainer of Four Legged Scholars LLC