Dog Training and Behaviour North Wales
Human – Canine Relationships
The relationship between canines and people, based on recent scientific discoveries, goes back more than 30,000 years when dogs were first domesticated. It has evolved into the reciprocal relationship we see to-day; dogs benefiting from loving, informed owners and people benefiting from the interaction and companionship of their dogs. However, correctly interpreting what our dogs are “telling” us and knowing what to do about it, is fundamental to the success of that relationship. What we think they’re communicating and what they’re actually conveying can be very different. For example a dog jumping up is not necessarily the sign of greeting we’ve come to assume but one of displaying dominance and asserting its belief that it, not the owners, leads the pack. Many households have a dog inadvertently making the decisions to the detriment of the owners. An effective human – canine relationship involves respect not just affection.
Many dog training techniques abound which are aimed at addressing issues with canine behaviour by working with the dog in question. But it is the owner not the trainer who needs to establish a day-to-day calm, mutually respectful and clearly understood relationship with their dog.
The same qualities which a dog looks for and responds to in its owner of calm, positive and confident leadership are the same qualities which people need within themselves in order to be effective, in control and balanced human beings. So becoming a more competent canine leader, in addition to being therapeutic for both owner and canine, benefits all other aspects and other relationships in our lives.
When our animals become unwell it can lead to their owners becoming depressed and anxious. Likewise, people being depressed and anxious can result in our pets sensing this and becoming depressed and anxious themselves. They pick up on factors we may not consider such as our increased heartbeat, changes in facial expressions, pheromones, body language and voice tone. So in addition to understanding basic canine behaviour of a healthy, relaxed and responsive dog it can be important to be aware of any behavioural changes in our pets which may be a reflection of changes in our own state of emotional well-being.
As an exponent in canine communication and a qualified psychotherapist as well as a dog owner, I am aware of the impact that an absence of emotional well-being can have on a dog, the owner and other family members. This is where counselling can be beneficial to owners because by improving their own self-esteem and confidence they can positively support and improve their relationship with their dog.