Change is a huge thing…that I ask most of my clients to undertake if they are to bring happiness to their lives with their dogs.
Over the last year I myself have experienced huge change. With the loss of 1 of my dogs, changes to the team of staff, a few additions to my pack, a heavy flow of dogs needing rehabilitation and the rapid growth of my business, change has had a huge effect on both me and my pack. Not only have they had to re -establish a pecking order but I have had to manage the ‘stress’ of change whilst also maintaining balance on a daily basis to lead my pack through change.
It’s tough but when change occurs your dog(s) looks to you as their leader to lead them through the tough and unstable times…tough in itself when you alone are struggling! The expectations not only of them, for you to be a stable leader but also of those around you can be hard. The way I get through it is to maintain routine and focus on what I want to achieve and how I want my pack to flourish-my vision. But also from spending time observing my pack and learning from them how quickly they have adapted to change, not dwelling on the past or apprehensive about the future but just living in the moment!
Change is a daunting thing for some people, largely due to the instability of that moment for a period of time. Some people fear the ‘unknown’ that it brings, running away from it or just avoiding it all together. But actually when you follow your dogs lead and see how easily they adapt to change by living in the moment, you find yourself more able to accept change and in some cases actually start enjoying it!
Change is the first thing a dog experiences when it comes for rehabilitation and quite often it is the first step in saving that dogs life! Sometimes you can actually see the stress of responsibility on a dog ‘lift off their shoulders’ when we start to integrate them into the Dog Trouble daily routine, giving them the direction they have yearned for. Their eyes change, becoming softer and more relaxed almost giving a sigh of relief!
When I return a dog to their home and begin working with the owners, they too are asked to change -their ‘routine’ and their lives if they truly want their dog to stay happy and balanced. Some owners embrace change wholeheartedly, by completely transforming their daily routine and behaviour towards their dog, often having to endure criticism from extended family members who don’t understand why ‘Ollie can’t have a biscuit when he’s come to see me (jumping up, barking)?!’
However some owners find it hard to fully commit to change, in fear of their dog thinking ‘they don’t love them anymore!’ Gradually the routine subsides and their dog starts to revert back to the world of ‘unbalance!’
The successful cases come when I see those owners who are committed to the happiness of their dog over their own needs. They embrace change, they consistently provide their dog with leadership, involving the whole family, making a plan, assigning ‘dog jobs’ for each person and most of all commit to having a happy dog.