Monday, April 19, 2010

Is your dog stressed because of YOU?

Most of you, if not all of you who read this blog have an understanding that our dogs respond to the energy around them.  All of you are here because you love your dog and want what's best for him/her.  You know that your dog needs to be in a relaxed state in order to deal with the different degrees of energy surrounding them in a positive and healthy manner.   In a perfectly balanced dog, negative energy should be able to flow through your dog.  When it doesn't your dog has an imbalance.  These dogs will experience a build up of excess energy, which we call tension or stress.  This tension, just like with humans, needs to be released.  Since dogs can't verbally express their emotions and relieve stress by talking it out, they express it as part of their behaviour. 

In order to help your dog relieve that tension, we need to be able to sense what our dog is feeling and approach the situation in a calm, centered and relaxed manner.  This means in order to help our dog, we need to help ourselves too!

Be aware of your dog.  Not just of his physical presence but his emotional state of mind by watchnig his behaviour.  Do you see him whining for no reason, spinning around in circles, scratching constantly, panting heavily, muscles trembling and constant wiggling?  These are all signs of tension or stress and can vary in degrees.  These symptoms can escalate quickly so watch for them and observe the subtle ques so you can stop them before they intensify.  Catching those symptoms early are tantamount to helping your dog.  Your ultimate goal is to spot these warning signs early and fix them before they escalate.  Once the tension increases to a fever pitch, your dog just won't listen.  It is up to you to get advice on how to bring your dog "down" by using calming and relaxation techniques.  My blog lists a number of relaxation techniques such as Reiki, Bach Flower Remedies, Relaxation Therapy, Massage and Music Therapy.  However, you can begin the process yourself by working on you!

Most of you know a relaxed dog when you see one.  He will be attentive to you in a calm way, hsi muscles will be supple, not stiff, his breathing will be regular and his movements will be more fluid rather than jerky.

Getting your dog to relax begins with you!

Since you already know that your dog senses your energy, you're halfway there!  YOU are the major source of energy for your dog.  Yep, I said it...YOU!  Before you start putting the blame on your dog, you need to understand your own energy.  Are you tense?  Are you holding the collar just a little too tightly?  Are your shoulders shrugged?  Is your voice elevated?  Are you BREATHING?????

How can you expect your dog to respond to you correctly when they are tense?  They just can't do it.  Well, you can't expect to be capable of asking for them to do something for you if you're not in the right state of mind.

It is important to focus on your breathing. 

So, right now...take a deep breath.  Really! Do it now.  Breathe in.  As you breathe in, you should feel your diaphragm expand.  Take notice of your body as you feel your stomach expand as you breathe in, then exhale through your mouth, releasing the air slowly.  Do this for at least 10 full breaths, not rushing it, just taking your time.  Shake it out and feel the difference.

Now, the next time you're in a stressful situation with your dog or if you "know" you are walking into a stressful situation with your dog, take a moment and breathe BEFORE you approach your dog.  Once you are in a more relaxed state, you are better able to handle potentially stressful situations.

To find out more information about destressing YOUR life and about the Breath, please check out my dear friend's blog: Core Connection Healing for more information.

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