I was visiting a friend of mine. We had a lovely time chatting and updating each other on various things. I had been telling her about my work with the dogs and Natural Dog Training (NDT). After a couple of hours I got up to leave. Her toy poodle, who had been lying calmly beside, started to jump and down, barking frantically. My friend was really irritated by this.
"So how do I stop that? Can I use NDT to help?"
I really had no idea. The excitement didn't really bother me. Then I said
"If it was me and my dog, I'd be curious about whether there was something going for me that was triggering the behaviour. I would check in with myself"
"What is going on for you?" I asked.
"Well, I'm annoyed. It stresses me out this uncontrollable excitement. What am I supposed to do about it?"
"But before that" I pressed, "What were you feeling before she started jumping that could have been a trigger for her behaviour?"
My friend thought for a second and then confessed
"I'm thinking that I am interested in our conversation and that I don't want you to leave. I don't know when I will see you again."
"What about if you try and work on those feelings and see what happens?"
As we stood there my friend focussed in on herself. She shared with me that she was mentally letting go of the need to hold on to me and reminding herself that I would be back soon. Within seconds the little dog was relaxed at her feet.
I was amazed. So was she. Can it really be that simple?
It was such a clear example, to me, of how our own thoughts and feelings can be picked up by our dogs. It reminded me to constantly stay curious about how my dogs are responding to me and my stuff.