Wednesday, 4 January 2012

WHAT OUR DOGS CAN TEACH US


"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." -- Edward Hoagland 


If we are willing to open our minds to see, we can learn much from dogs about ourselves. They can help us be more aware of our own behaviour and give us a second chance to grow into better, wiser and happier individuals.

Dogs do not require training unless they are to learn a skill such as search and rescue. 

To learn good behaviour dogs simply need to be communicated to in a fair, aware and respectful manner. I can walk into a home where a dog always jumps on guests, yet without saying a word to the dog I can provide it with direction instantly - the dog will not jump on me, the dog will be respectful. It is not a trick - I did not use my voice to communicate I used body language and my state of mind. I communicated to the dog in a language that he/she  understands.

A dog will usually tell you if your need to improve yourself as a dog will often reflect the state of their human.

If your dog is anxious and nervous the only way you can help your dog to overcome that state - is to learn  to truly understand your dog and yourself.  Most people will automatically look to see why the dog is misbehaving - I teach my clients to understand how they create and trigger unwanted behaviour in their dogs.

The best way to help a dog is to heIp the dog's human...I teach my clients how to become better communicators and better observers. I teach them to be  aware of all of the ways that we communicate - our thoughts, our body language, our tone of voice - our state-of-being...and then I teach them all of the ways that dogs communicate. Dog's do not read dictionaries - if you want your dog to understand a concept you must be capable of clearly exemplifying that concept...this is a fundamental and critical element of good leadership. To enable the best in your dog you must learn true leadership skills. In so doing  you improve your ability to communicate with not only your dog but with everyone in your life - your children, your spouse, your friends and co-workers.


Dogs can teach us about love and generosity, about living in the moment and seeing the small but valuable things that surround us everyday.

Dogs can also teach us to be less arrogant about our place in this world. 

If you allow yourself to see how truly intelligent and sensitive dogs really are you must also ask yourself what else have I missed seeing in the past? 

A whole new world opens up, where you can see the great value of non-human animals. The bonds they form with each other, their friendships and emotions are no less than that of a human. Dogs smile, they can be joyous, and sad, they grieve, they anticipate things that they enjoy and things that they do not like, they have dreams and nightmares. Dogs can teach us to recognize the intelligence and great value of other animals too. Did you know that cows have best friends? That elephants and whales are deeply bonded to their family members? Just two examples - there are so many. From this we can learn a deeper respect. And from this we can also learn to value the environment.


This is just a small part of what our dogs express and show us. Should we be smart enough to listen to what our dogs are trying to teach us our world expands and becomes a richer place. 



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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld