Thursday, 3 November 2011

THE ART OF GREETING IN SILENCE - How You Should Greet Your Dog

Many of us have been taught - from a very early age, to react with excitement when we see a puppy or a 'cute' adult dog. In keeping with this our habitual reaction is to walk up to the dog with intense excitement, talk in a very excited manner and touch the dog in an excited way.
Great fun for us - but how about the dog?

Well, when we greet a dog in this hyper, reactive manner we can really overwhelm a dog’s senses! We also teach the dog to be overly excited, anxious and even fearful. We teach  by example, the wrong example. We de-normalize the experience of greeting.

And then, when visitors come over, frustration reigns supreme as the dog rushes to the door, and takes over the space, barking and jumping all over guests.

And when a dog  is introduced to another dog by its human - more excited voices and encouragement to be instantaneously energized! And when the greeting is too much for the other dog, a growl or snap ensues, the humans get tense and viola! The excited dog has just had its first lesson in how to become tense, reactive-nervous, around other dogs.

Did you know…
We have about 3 million olfactory sensors in our noses. Dogs have +/- 300 million! Dogs in their natural state (not having been influenced otherwise by humans) like to greet each other by simply approaching each other and using their noses to smell each other. That is a normal, respectful, social greeting in the dog world!

So what should we do instead, and can we learn to enjoy our dogs and greeting situations in the absence of excitement - you bet!

Instead imagine this greeting…

Walk up to the dog quietly, calmly - see its beautiful physical form, see the expression in his/her face, and eyes.

Observe quietly, while the dog enjoys the silence and uses his/her nose to gently snuffle, while he/she takes in all the scents on your clothing, your shoes.

Each scent tells the dog where you have been, what you have seen and touched - it is an adventure, a bouquet of scents for the dog to enjoy in peace.

You quietly watch, while enjoying the graceful movement of the dog’s gently swishing tail, swirls of soft fur, pretty ears and eyes - just look quietly, don't touch, don't talk.

The dog is finished sniffing, you were calm and quiet, so the dog is calm and quiet.

You reach under its chin and firmly, gently with slow pressure stoke the underside of its neck, luxuriating in the velvety soft fur.

This relaxes you, and allows you to enjoy the sunlight and the soft warmth of the dog’s fur.

You just shared a quiet, warm, affectionate and deeply profound moment with a gentle sensitive being.

You just respected the dog in the dog.

You just trained yourself.

You put aside everything you have been taught about greeting a dog, you are no longer that human who leads by providing the wrong example.

You  are now that human who understands that to love a dog the right way, first from the perspective of the dog, enables the dog to be a happy, fulfilled well balanced canine!

And that is the art of greeting in silence...

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Note -

1.0 Use of Foods, Herbs, Nutraceuticals and Alternative Medicines:

When choosing to use any of the items or protocols in the article above, it is your responsibility to ensure safe use of the item/protocol. Food, herbs, nutraceuticals and alternative medicines all have drug interactions, most have health issue contradictions, some have side effects. Use of substances and protocols are your responsibility. Prior to use of any substance or protocol make sure you do your research - check for all cautions, contradictions,interactions, side effects. If in doubt do not use the substance or protocol. If the substance, or protocol is contradicted for your animal do not use. If your animal has an underlying condition you are not aware of substances may conflict with that condition.

2.0 The Real Meaning of Holistic…

Food, herbs, nutraceuticals and alternative medicines are NOT ‘holistic’ they are a substance and MAY, or may NOT be ‘NATURAL’. It is important to keep in mind that the supplement industry is just as unethical as BigPharma, the Food and Pet Food Industry, and unfortunately many veterinarians.

If you use a ‘natural’ substance (i.e. an herb) you are using a natural substance, this is not synonymous with holistic.

Holistic is a way of approaching life, and within that - overall health, and wellbeing.

Please do not expect a natural substance to miraculously remedy a health or behavioral situation. A natural substance may be used to treat symptoms. However, if the factors causing the underlying issue are not properly identified, analyzed and addressed you do not have a remedy.

Remedy requires a comprehensive approach that identifies root cause, seeks to remove items that trigger, cause or otherwise contribute to issues, and builds a complete, and detailed approach to immediate treatment, remedy, and maintenance of long-term health = holistic.

I offer extensive consultation services - Holistic Diet, Nutrition Wellness and Holistic Behavioral, for people that are serious about looking after their dogs and cats holistically. If you want to engage my services you can contact me via email or phone.

If you are looking for additional free advice, please refer back to the articles on my site, do not contact me via email or phone - personalized service is for my clients / patients only.

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Wishing your dog and cat the best of health!

the Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer
Holistic Behaviorist - Dogs
Holistic Diet Nutrition Wellness Adviser – Dogs and Cats

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