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Be the Parent

   These methods that I use are designed to help your dog see you as its parent. In our dog's mind there  are two opposing forces at work. One that is “wild” or primal and the other that is juvenile that accepts parent. This is domestication. The retention of juvenile state for the dog's entire life. During stressful situations if a dog decides it is on its own, it will respond with primal dog. It becomes responsible for the stimuli in front of it. If a dog recognizes a parent is present, it will be relaxed and confident. By being seen as parent relieves our dogs of this responsibility and causes them to feel confident and social. 

  The question is then, How do we appear in our dog’s mind as parent? A dog will determine what you are by testing your personal space. From a dog's perspective, if I can enter your personal space and make contact univited, then I am in charge of you. Dog's that initiate contact i.e. jumping up, laying on or leaning on are essentially claiming you. "Owning" something is adult or primal animal expression. Think of a lion gaurding a zebra leg or Linus with his blanket. To shift our dogs out of this prmial state we need to secure our personal space by rejecting their effort to touch us. I call this controlling your "bubble". This immediately defines you as a parent and fills our dogs with calm and security. It is only after our dogs agree that we in turn call our dogs to us and then give love and afection. 

   This relationship of parent/juvenile is further reenforced with leash work. Triggering our dog's starting and stopping. The leash is used as communication to remind them of our continuous presence.

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