A previous client reached out to me for some guidance on how to help her dog have a successful greeting with a visiting family member.
She acknowledged her dog, Flaco has a harder time meeting men than women and the family member visiting is her dad.
This certainly created stress for Sandra. This was her comfort zone talking.
Sandra remained focused on being proactive and motivated to use the stress she felt about this new situation to set herself and Flaco up for success right from the start.
We discussed a game plan.
Sandra put the pieces together of how to have slow introductions, giving Flaco some space and of course how to bridge the divide of making her dad the best thing in Flaco’s eyes.
We also discussed roadblocks.
Roadblocks like what if the greeting takes longer than necessary? What if Flaco struggles with her dad staying with them?
Even though roadblocks and what other options you have available aren’t ideal, they do give the mind some relief when the gremlins come knocking.
The gremlins are there saying, “this won’t work”, “you won’t be successful” ect. By talking about roadblocks, this gives the mind some relief about what may go wrong, it also opens up space for the person to take action in the direction where they want to go.
Sandra’s action plan for Flaco was a success!
According to what Sandra shared about her game plan, she “made sure he was walked earlier in the day so well regulated (got his potty time in) and also fed him.
Her dog walker (who is well versed in force free approaches) came to take Sandra’s other dog for a walk. Sandra is well aware of how Hollyn becomes excited in new situations, so giving Flaco more of an opportunity to have a calmer greeting.
Sandra asked her dad (so lovely he followed her instructions), to stand still and sideways when Flaco came out. Flaco had an easy time meeting her dad and seemed to like him too.”
They hit a roadblock when Hollyn was reintroduced. Flaco became unsure about her dad.
Her dog walker swung into action and played Engage/Disengage in the kitchen with Flaco until he was more comfortable.”
Using the stress of doing something new by creating an action plan gives you an opportunity to grow and move through your comfort zone.
As you can see, there was a hiccup. The game plan accounted for a roadblock like this and they used their knowledge of the skills they practiced and put it to work when a less than ideal situation occurred.
Sure enough, Flaco and Sandra’s dad are buds!
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