Don’t Believe What the Gremlins Say

You may not be aware of what to expect when you bring home a dog for the first time.

You may also feel confident in integrating a new dog into your family because you’ve had dogs all your life.

You start noticing behaviors pop up which you never experienced before like barking and lunging at the end of the leash.

Or, nipping at house guests as soon as they walk into your home.

You start becoming more aware of what you may not know of how to help your dog feel safer and more comfortable at home.

You may even resorted in using old skool training approaches which is even making the situation worse.

When you are presented with new information based on modern science which contradicts your outdated beliefs, it’s hard to switch gears.

The little gremlin on your shoulder whispering in your ear, “you can’t do this”, “I feel overwhelmed”, “I’ve tried so many things before and I know this isn’t going to work”.

The gremlin sitting on your shoulder is keeping you from growing if you choose to buy into those messages.

Growth and learning something new requires not only your dog, but you too to do new things.

Growth takes risks which creates stress in our bodies.

Our minds are hard wired to avoid stress, when the edges of your potential are pushed, this is when your gremlin speaks to you.

Your fear shows up.

When the prospect of change signals you will also need to start a new behavior pattern, adjust your routine, switch up your lifestyle a bit to prioritize your dog’s needs, you may be thinking “whoa”.

One client shared with me, “I’ve been frustrated for 4 or 5 years and saying no for all the barking going on, It’s hard for me to stop”.

I respond, “the same time needed for you to make a change is also necessary for your dog too”. Be kind to yourself and have compassion for the change you and your dog are undergoing.

Starting of the practice can seem clunky or confusing. You may even have a misstep here or there and that is ok.

I don’t expect you to be perfect just as I don’t expect your dog to be perfect too.

Perfection is an unattainable expectation.

Rather, progress is made slowly and gradually with making the conscious decision to take the action steps towards your goals and celebrate the small steps you and your dog are achieving together.

As you practice, the gremlin’s voice begins to fade (never goes away) and you become more competent in the skills you’re doing and are even able to fluidly integrate them into your life.

It’s not easy to change, but the courage to show up for you and your dog every day is what sets the stage for your growth and learning.

Schedule a Discovery Call with me to find out more!

Published by houndbiz

Katherine Porter is a force free, reward based dog behavior advisor and consultant serving clients and their companion dogs worldwide. Her calm and gentle approach in coaching clients in effectively communicating what they want to their dog blends her MSW background into her dog training and behavior practice. Katherine was a behavior consultant for Heeling Hounds after graduation. She opened Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC when the military relocated her family to Fort Sill, OK in 2015. During this time, she volunteered with Rainbow Bridge Can Wait where she provided post adoption consultations to new pet parents. She also developed and implemented tailored behavior modification plans for highly reactive dogs residing at the shelter. She also provided educational programs to military children through interactive workshops at the Fort Sill School Age Center. In 2017, Katherine relocated Four Paws and You Dog Training LLC to Germany. She served the Armed Forces communities in Bavaria. She continued coaching and advising her clients in addressing their companion dog’s fearful and reactive behavioral issues. Katherine takes a Do No Harm approach first and foremost in providing behavioral plans. She is committed in serving clients with gentle and modern science approaches in modifying behavioral concerns such as reactivity, aggression, separation anxiety and fear based responses. Katherine is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. She is focused on integrating a holistic and modern approach in addressing her client’s pet companion reactive behavior issues.

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