Life inclusion with structure
This is Rufus staying in a relaxed position as we vacuum, cook, and do other chores in the house. Before he goes home, we do this pretty all the time so he knows how to ignore whatever is going on and just chill. Being able to relax is a great gift we can give to our dogs that a lot of people don’t realize.
Unfortunately, may people focus a lot on seeing their dogs running around the house, begging for food, jumping on furniture ... because they think that means their dogs are “happy”. They have unintentionally created lots of arousal and stimulation in the house, and associated themselves as a source of this arousal, that pretty much makes it impossible for the dog to feel content, respectful, and submissive around his owner. When a dog is always ramped up in the house, when he is always super aroused around the owners, it becomes next to impossible for the dog to think rationally and react properly. It is like a child who is “sugar high” all the time. This child will tend to make more poor choices than a child who is less hyper. Rufus can enjoy a nice relaxing moment by himself now. He no longer needs to be Velcro to us. He does not follow us around the house. This does not mean we don’t love him, as a matter of fact, giving him mental down time and controlling our urge to constantly fuss over him is an act of love. It takes discipline and the desire to put his best interest first — which can only be done when we truly love him. Love can be expressed in many different ways. For Rufus, who used to be very vocal, very easily spooked, and very reactive to everything, what he needs is not more arousal but a sense of serenity and security and we can give him this wonderful gift through this type of life inclusion training whereas he learns to relax and feel content on his own.