People tend to rely on words to communicate, and we often make the mistake of thinking our pets do too. Our best friends have a 6th sense to our emotions; most of us have had the experience of being sad or depressed only to be comforted by Fido’s furry snuggles.
Every single minute that you are with your pet you are communicating with them (maybe unwittingly) with your body language, voice, and your energy. Sadly, especially when training our pets, we often project negative emotions, like frustration or anger when our pet doesn’t get it right and this, in turn, makes it much harder for your dog or cat to learn.
This is not some “woo-woo” new age concept. In part, it’s how our pets communicate with each other. Go to your local dog park and watch dogs interact with each other, you’ll see they all silently speak the same language. So it’s no surprise that they are experts at reading energy – of other dogs and their people. Because of this, we are often influencing their behavior without realizing it.
The word energy can be confusing to some people – think of it as your disposition right now. Are you calm, worried, stressed out, or excitable? That’s the energy you’re projecting to the world and your pet. If you’re calm, the energy you project to others is calm and confident, and they pick up on your energy and feel the same way. If you’re anxious, that’s what you’re putting out there to others. Our pets easily read our moods and respond accordingly; to them, your mood communicates louder than your words.
Here is an example: Trainers often tell dog parents to loosen up on their dog’s leash when they are going to meet another leashed dog. This is the exact opposite of what most people do; we are often nervous about how the meeting is going to go, so
we shorten the lead. Your energy is tense, and you compound that with the short leash. By doing so, you telegraph to your dog that this is a situation to be nervous about. With that energy, the meeting often doesn’t go well. Next time you’re in this situation, loosen that lead and be confident that all will be well and I bet you’ll get a different result.
Try being a calm and confident leader/teacher for your pet. When you share your good energy, positive words, and treat rewards, you’ll get great results and have a relax and confident pet.
Read this article by Victoria Stillwell about positive energy.