Have you ever wondered why you just can’t find that right remedy or flower essence for your dog that seems to work? In fact nothing seems to work very well or for very long to control these behaviors. What behaviors ??? Chewing, barking, anxiousness, not listening and even begrudgingly unwilling to admit – aggressive tendencies that don’t seem to be getting any better. “But I’ve tried diet changes, even raw food, holistic remedies, homeopathic remedies, flower essences, calming essential oils and my dog even went through puppy training courses – but nothing seems to work!” Does this sound familiar at all or ring the slightest bell that you don’t want to hear?

We are going to back into this post in the reverse order we normally take. We are going to start with the solution in order to understand exactly ‘what’ the problem is that we are dealing with. Straight from the gate cutting to the chase, here is the list of principles necessary to understand:

  • Dogs Are Pack Animals
  • Dogs Require A Leader To Ensure Survival
  • Dogs Are Dogs First – Second To YOUR Companionship Needs
  • Dogs Understand Intension Before Voice Or Action

Let’s be clear that holistic remedies such as Freedom Formula and Flower Essence Blends can have a profound effect on dogs and be tremendously more than helpful but they CANNOT replace the need for a leader. Guess who that leader is? Yep, YOU! Granted not all dogs have these challenges and some breeds may have more of a propensity and traumatized dogs even more so. But the bottom line is that dogs require Leadership. It’s how they operate in nature and it’s how packs ensure survival.

When its just you and your dog or dogs – its you that is at the top of the pack. You dispense the food, you provide a living space, you provide healthy exercise and playtime. Its YOU they look to for their needs to be met – so why wouldn’t they look to you for their most primary need – LEADERSHIP.

How Do I Apply Leadership Principles To My Dog

leadership training

This may sound all good and true but the question becomes how do I apply leadership principles to my dog? A few understandings need to take place to be able to apply what ultimately sounds good. Sending your dog out to a trainer is a shortcut without a foundation. You are the one who is going to be with your dog for the rest of their life or yours.

You are the one who is going to be asking of your dog and expecting of your dog. Its not to say you can’t work with a trainer as you implement the relationship with your companion. We do turn to an expert to help us understand and exercise that which we don’t know, but they are just a guide to help us along the way. The trainers are not the ones living out life with ‘your’ dog.

Definition Of Leadership

What does leadership actually mean ? Merriam Webster defines leadership in the following: the office or position of a leader: the capacity to lead: the act of leading. So maybe we should look at the definition of a leader: a person who directs: a person who has commanding authority or influence. And then lastly to lead defined by Merriam Webster: to guide the way by going in advance: to direct on a course or in a direction: to have charge of. Most likely you are getting the point that this is what your dog expects of you. It’s an act of Love when you truly understand leadership.

Dogs are not people and they do not want us to anthropomorphize them. Another big word, yes but there is no substitute for it so let’s define that too – anthropomorphize: ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things. And it must be included here that dogs and all pets are sentient, intuitive, divine beings and no lesser beings whatsoever. But they do not ‘think’ and process the way humans do. While we are here, it would be a great time to say that we have quite a bit to re-member about ourselves that animals can teach US. They are clear, honest, direct and authentic. It’s one reason why they are so intuitive. They do not harbor the things that stand in the way of such clear ‘knowing’.

So back to the understanding of anthropomorphizing and how this relates to our ability to be effective leaders with our dogs and animals. Animals need and look for clear communication. Animals demonstrate devotion which reveals the unconditionality of their love – another tremendous lesson to be gained and mastered from our four legged companions.

Falling Out Of Favor

We treat our dogs sometimes as we want to be treated, yes the golden rule is a beautiful principle and if we all practiced it honestly and steadfastly, we wouldn’t recognize our world or ourselves to everyones benefit. But what is being presented here is a misperception in how we relate to dogs. We don’t want to discipline them for fear of falling out of favor with our true and maybe only best friend. This gets really tricky right here. I already hear the arguments and protests ….. but just hear this out. It may just be the ‘the thing’ that opens the door to changing your entire life.

You see how you relate to and with your dog is a conditioned, myelinated, mostly unconscious act until it IS conscious. And that same conditioning is patterned through many threads in your life, not just with your pet. Your pet is unconditional love itself helping you to see the mirror inside yourself. Change this conditioning with your dog and because of your new awareness you’ll have the ability to change it everywhere in your life.

The Most Important Paragraph In This Post

Leadership = positive discipline and consistency, consistency, consistency.
Leadership = rewarding positive behavior with recognition. Good Boy! Good Girl! Truly feeling this in your heart as your mouth says it.
Leadership = BEING CONSISTENT. Rules are rules and boundaries are boundaries. Not changing them interchangeably depending on your mood, day, or how you feel at the moment.

Leadership DOES NOT equal yelling and raising your voice, swatting, spanking or hitting. That’s not leadership – that’s projected anger.
Leadership is not being a human treat dispenser so they won’t act out when in public or any other time. This is negatively training your dog to do exactly what you don’t want.
Leadership does not reward undesirable behavior. Petting and loving on your dog when he acts aggressively because it temporarily calms him down. You’ve just trained him or her to ACT aggressively.

Why do we do the opposite of what we actually want from our dog – a loving, confident dog resulting in a mutually trustworthy relationship. The reason is we don’t want to fall out of favor. If we don’t give into our dog at every unacceptable behavior he might not love us anymore. But turning around and yelling at him or her the next second doesn’t make him or her love us anymore either. We are stuck! We are not getting it and every time we yell at them (for which they do not understand contradiction) we push them further into repetitive negative behavior.

Tying It Together

Stepping into a leadership role with your dog is equivalent to no longer being a victim of your past. You are no longer reacting to the conditioning of your childhood. Check in with yourself at this point before you judge what is being said. It’s an opportunity. An inability to discipline in a calm, steadfast, integritous, forthright, clear manor is the result of a ‘victim consciousness’. Letting a dog do whatever they want so we can gain their forever, unfounded, unconditional love is not love – its the longing for love coming from a pained, hurt inner child. Our need for love manifests unconsciously in so many ways.

Free love dogmanship as we call it says – ‘NO’ to the leash! It says, “I love you so much I want you to run free, be free, live, love, pant, sniff, run some more, pee on everything. I never want you to feel confined, punished, and above all not free to do as you wish”. This is our need to be free of the pain, infliction, injustices, dramas, and traumas of the past. Contrary to the belief and belief is truly what the problem is …. your dog wants to be connected. Wants clarity and clear communication — just as you do.

The Leash Is Not Just A Leash

leadership training

The leash – to many people symbolizes cruelty and punishment whether conscious or un-conscious. We could give many examples of just how miraculous the leash appears to be and can at times alone correct behavior issues. But that is not going to convince you because it’s our experience. But we can share that experience with you to gleam from. The leash itself says to your beloved “I’m connected, I can feel your energy run down the leash to my neck. I know where my place is, even though I may resist at first, until your signals are clear. I know I’m wanted, needed, and what is expected of me”. This is true for horses and halters and for that matter cats as well – a different topic but the exact same principle.

The leash used correctly can do more than any remedy to get your dog to finally behave! And for some that can master the leadership ability innate in each one of us, there comes a time when the leash is no longer needed because the relationship of trust is firmly established. There are no bad behaviors, issues – just pure knowing, understanding and companionship.

The leash delineates clarity. The leash used constantly and consistently can banish fear, chewing problems and anxiety because it automatically defines you as the alpha position. When the alpha position is established the dog no longer needs to fear for its survival, making all the decisions and literally be in the drivers seat. Here is one small example of this.

A Personal Example

I was called and asked to perform bodywork and Bowen on a small very aggressive dog no more than 10 pounds that had had an injury. No one could touch this dog without being bitten. She was extremely possessive of her owner and the owner unknowingly/unconsciously reinforced the behavior every time by petting the dog when it lunged. There is that underlying conditioning again. The fact that the dog ONLY loved her completely satisfied the hurt victim in my client even though the cost of the aggression was a major life disruption. The problem with aggression that eventually turned on the owner resulting in puncture wounds from being bitten repeatedly couldn’t hold a candle to the perceived need to be loved.

When the appointed time arrived, I took a lead line and secured it around the dog’s neck in the correct position, location and with the correct steady hold. I had control of the dog at this point. One hand with leash and one hand performing the necessary bodywork ‘moves’. She was completely within my proximity and I worked with confidence. There were a few times where the dog resisted and had a mini tantrum – once she worked through this herself without me yanking, pulling, speaking – just steadily holding and maintaining a quiet leadership role, she was mine.

I did not remove the leash but was able to pet her and reinforce her new positive association and behavior. The leash lay gently against her neck so she knew it was there. The owner was utterly shocked! No one would have believed it unless they saw it. It had nothing to do with me except exercising a principle available to us all and that which our companions are expecting from us.

Remedies As A Tool

Remedies can be used AS a tool to make leadership training a smoother process, help an animal be more receptive, and help an owner calm their own energy. Remedies can help calm the nervous system, unlock locked trauma, soothe exhausted adrenals, help slow learners, the list goes on and on. But you must work with your dog as leader in conjunction. There is no substitute for healing the conditioning needed to become a leader for your pet. The leadership then becomes the salve necessary for an unbreakable bond founded in harmony, peace and joy.

Skip to content