Thoughts of a Canine Therapist – Boundaries

Boundaries!!!

We all have them. Things we will and won’t do or will and won’t tolerate, but we’re not all great at making these boundaries clear to others. Then when people push these boundaries it affects us mentally and emotionally 😢😢
We may feel angry or upset or if it’s anything like my recent lessons, you could feel really undervalued 💔💔

Our dogs have boundaries as well and when pushed, they do the same as us, they react to how it makes them feel. Unfortunately when a dog reacts it usually involves a lot of noise and their teeth 🦷 and they’re then labelled as aggressive or reactive.

So how do we stop this from happening???

Currently most owners would call in a trainer or behaviourist and force the dog to accept their boundaries being pushed because it’s something the dog has to learn to put up with and they can’t be biting people or other dogs.

They obviously don’t recognise that this is what they’re doing, they see it as training the dog to be social and non aggressive 🤷‍♀️

What we should be doing is finding out from the dog what their boundaries are and then respecting them.

If this isn’t possible, e.g. they don’t like other dogs jumping all over them but you can’t stop other peoples dogs from doing this at a park. Then we need to be explaining to them that it may not always be possible but we will do our best not to put them in that situation. Then we should be supporting them and helping them to manage their emotional levels if it does happens 💞

I’m not going to lie 🤥 it’s not easy. I connect with my dogs constantly and i’m amazing at looking at things from the dogs point of view.
I actually find it easier to relate to dogs than I do people most of the time.
But even I get it wrong at times and don’t respect my dogs boundaries enough because my own emotional levels get in the way.
Which is why the first thing we do when we start working in this way is work on your emotional state so that you’re available to listen to your dog and able to give them the support they need when they need it ❤️🐾

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