I visited an old friend yesterday, a poodle I’ve seen many times over the last 3 years. I was curious, as the last time I’d been there his mum had been having all sorts of trouble with the relationship between him and the young buck – a big, black, lovely and very boisterous 2 year old poodle. The young fellow had decided it was time for him to be the boss dog, so to speak. There was conflict over the old dogs very special toy (one he’d had all of his life), and a lot of argy bargy. This was shown by a lot of direct staring, posturing, and was edging into a possible fight. Their mum was at her wits end with it all, especially at play time in the afternoon, and she was starting to have to seperate the two dogs physically to prevent any further escalation. This had escalated terribly after the neighbours had been trying to load up a big pig onto a truck, and it squealed horridly for about half an hour.
I was sitting on the couch – making suggestions that simply arose out of nowhere, watching the 2 dogs push at each other with their eyes. It was subtle, but very evident how they were challenging each other. Suddenly I felt to try something new, something I’d never done before. I do a lot of body work with pets, so I was talking to theor mum about how important physical touch and connection is, when I had the opportunity to place my hands on both the dogs in question, one on either side of me.
“You could do this,” I explained, as I connected firmly and gently with both the dogs at the same time, one hand on each of them, with one sitting to either side of me. Now, I was watching the dogs carefully as I connected with them, and both the dogs quite quickly showed signs of relaxation and activation of their parasympathetic (rest & digest) nervous systems. Their eyes softened, with a sleepy, heavy look, their breathing got slowly deeper and slower, and the tension melted out of their bodies. I explained all of this as I stayed connected with both dogs, and supported a state of inner silence as best I could.
“It’s really making a difference!” their mum told me, as she watched all of this unfolding.
“It is, isn’t it?” I replied.
I explained that I’d necer done this particular technique before, and suggested that she should do it often, at least twice a day, and in particular at times of higher arousal, playtime especially.
Yesterday, I found out that the two dogs were now best of friends again, and all that aggressive eye pushing was gone. Mind you, the extra special toy had also been removed from the equation, but I’m sure that this technique of physically connecting with both dogs simueltaneously was the key. You should know that the lady in question has completed the Whole Energy Body Balance trainig that I offer, so she has skills on board with hands on connection with pets that most people do not, which will have helped a lot.
It’s always exciting when a new tool arises out of the void, and has such good results!