What if you had me in your back pocket?
Hi, as you all know I am currently (amongst many other things) writing my reactive dog book. The book is going to be aimed at dog owners whose lives are made difficult by their reactive dog's behaviour when out on walks. Dealing with the episodes on a daily basis is emotionally draining, I know I have been there. Their behaviour can be the difference between them coming back from a walk relieved or in floods of tears, the difference between them saying to their other half "that dog has to go"! or "that was ok today". Many of my owners who come to me for help with their reactive dogs are at their wit's end. They have tried everything to no avail, their marriage is on the rocks because of their dog's behaviour. As with many of life's challenges, we tend to take on way too much without resourcing help and support. we take on this superhero ego that suggests we should be able to do it all on our own regardless of the amount of pressure or how hard the challenge.
In order to help your dog, you need to help yourself. If you have reached overwhelm, or are so stressed and emotionally unstable yourself you will not be able to help your dog. There is no shame in asking for help and finding support in the right places. I say this because there are those friends and family members that are quick to give their opinions or suggestions on how your dog "should" respond or be "trained" which isn't really helpful to you, it just makes you feel more S***. You need people who are there to listen and to help where possible without putting in their own pennies worth. The best thing you can do is enlist the help of a qualified force-free qualified behaviourist and trainer. Their job is to not only give you the tools you need, the understanding your needs and of course ensure your dog's welfare is met. But one of the biggest roles of theirs is to support the owner. See it is natural to have crap days, where you feel like nothing is working and you no longer want to continue, but with the help and support of a professional, they can help you see your achievements and keep a positive mindset which is essential for the success of your dog's rehabilitation.
This is all great I hear you say, but what if you financially can't commit to such a thing at this time? That is where my book comes in. It takes all the best bits from my 'From reactive-passive' program in an easy to read guide. It contains activities for you to complete so as you can actively make a difference and take the first steps to reduce your dog's reactive outbursts. Think of it as having me in your back pocket to give you encouraging words of advice that you can trust, plus practical skills that are useful and effective. This book will be your new best friend, and your dog's too!