--The owner comes home and sees his dog at the door. The dog is very excited, tail wagging, drooling, jumping, spinning...and the owner becomes really excited too. He hugs and kisses and makes a big fuss with the dog.
--On his walk, when the dog sees another dog he feels very anxious and lunges at the dog, the owner becomes anxious and frustrated, too. Now, he feels so nervous whenever he sees a dog coming.
--The owner wants to talk on the phone but the dog sits in front of him and looks at him with those puppy watery eyes, so the owner puts down the phone and throws a ball for the dog.
--The owner is walking with the dog but the dog is really pulling hard, so the owner speeds up to catch up with the dog...
We can follow or lead a dog with our energy.
If our energy level fluctuates according to the energy of the dog and our action follows our dog's, then we are followers of our dogs--when the dog is excited, we become excited; when the dog is anxious, we become anxious; when the dog wants attention, we give it to him; when the dog is pulling, we follow.
Dogs look at us in terms of energy. We can learn to lead our dog with our energy and our action--when the dog is excited we can keep our energy flat; when our dog is anxious we can remain aloof and confident; when our dog wants our attention as we are doing something important we can ask our dog to go lay down until we are done; when our dog is fixated on the walk we can teach our dog to slow down and walk at our pace instead.
You can influence your dog's energy level with your own and make him change his energy according to yours, or you can allow your energy level to be manipulated by your dog's and follow his lead.
When you are mindful of your energy and have control of your energy level, you can lead your dog with your energy so your dog will look up to you and follow your lead willingly.
For those who are used to be followers of their dogs, l understand it is a big step to take. But if you truly want to do what is best for your dog, it is also a crucial step.
Many behavioral problems are based on anxiety and insecurity. When your dog follows your energy and looks up to you as a source of calmness, peace, and security, training will become much easier and many behaviour issues will just disappear.