In this email I want to talk about control of emotions if you suffer from stress or guilt in your relationship with your dog.
Like parents with children, dog owners sometimes face conflicting emotions. I’ve identified the need to address some of the feelings commonly faced by dog owners and offer some strategies to help deal with difficult challenges you could face with your dog. There are more issues than what is covered here, but the following are the most common and they are all interconnected. (To avoid a lengthy email I have split this information in two parts. You will receive the second part soon.)
Do you feel resentment towards your dog for its behavioural issues? Is it having a negative effect on your life? Do you suffer a measure of guilt in thinking badly of your companion?
These common, conflicting emotions require a sensible and realistic approach – one that works best for both you and your dog.
Start by thinking of the many positives your dog brings into your life and whether these attributes surpass the negatives. However, if the joy of dog ownership is outweighed by the stress and anxiety you’re enduring, then it could be time to research other options.
On the other hand, if you’re committed to making your relationship with your dog work, then you need to get to the heart of the problem and find a long-term solution.
Dog owners often face societal confrontation and conflict which can be in the form of mean-spirited comments directed towards certain breeds and the behaviour of your dog in public.
Feelings of anxiety and embarrassment can be produced due to your dog’s “misbehaviour”. This can be the case when the “fight or flight” mechanism is triggered in your dog.
There is an old adage, “What people think about you is none of your business”. Avoid dwelling on what others might be thinking. It’s too easy to create a false story in your head and it doesn’t serve you or your dog well.
Associate with positive-minded people who support you and find a caring professional to help you and your dog. Seek comfort in knowing that you’re a responsible dog owner and that you’re not on this journey on your own.
We live in a time of information overload. You might be experiencing frustration and confusion with the myriad of information available on the internet. There’s a vast array of behaviour modification and training philosophies available out there.
Additionally, you could be enduring the conflicting views and opinions of family and friends. These could all be impacting your decision making and behaviour modification training techniques. Unfortunately, some of the advice provided isn’t helpful and creates further stress and frustration.
If something doesn’t make sense to you, question and question again until you’re satisfied with the answer. If it goes against your core values, remain firm in your convictions. Thus, you will avoid the inner conflict that comes when you betray your own instincts.
Most people mean well, but their input can sometimes be more of a hindrance than help – especially when the advice is questionable.
As already mentioned, I’ve split this email in two parts for ease of reading. I’ll touch base very soon with the remaining information.