Having a dog with behavioral issues can be very hard, sad and frustrating to deal with.This really wasn't the life you envisioned for either your dog or yourself......? I have lived with dogs with different issues, behavioural and medical and can truly
empathise with others going through the difficulties and heartbreak these can bring to your life.
It is always much simpler to understand a problem and see how that may be helped when you are not the one that's emotionally attached and going through
it, which is true of many types of relationship!
I have loved dogs all my life and lived with them for most of it and one thing you can be sure of, you never stop learning. The science of behaviour and particularly the complex emotional lives
of dogs is constantly discovering more about them (although some of this is already a 'given' to many people who have spent their lives with them).
When I do a 1-2-1 visit, I go with 2 heads, so to speak, my 'dog' head but far more in use will be my
'people' head as there is nearly always far more to a visit than just 'my dog is...?' I think perhaps Behaviour/Counsellor is a more fitting description as in so many cases, I will see the dog but the behaviour being described often has a deep emotional connection
to the owner/s and what is actually happening or has happened in their lives, especially if traumatic in some way. Dogs have an amazing ability to reflect our own emotional states back at us but magnified because of their ability to just feel and show it as
opposed to humans as we think and analyse and in so doing, often repress our feelings rather than openly resolving them as our thoughts and emotions come from separate areas of our brain. However our dogs truly can and do mirror our own inner problems
and in trying to ground how that energy makes them feel, this can come out in all sorts of problem behaviours.
This is why I often spend the major part of my visit doing some emotional detective work in order to see how the situation may have come about
and getting the owner/s to take a look at what needs to be done by and for themselves first, in order to help them help their dog. It is not always easy but is hugely satisfying to see the positive impact on both owner and dog when the emotional connections
are made and they start to work with each other and not against...it's why I love what I do!