Little Luna telling me secrets, she has a lot to say.
Many mornings I sit and look at my computer screen; void of ideas to write about as I have been blogging for years now. This morning I had a different problem, too many things to write about. I started out with one idea which very quickly turned into three different topics. So I will cover one today, another tomorrow and the final one the next day.
Learning from our dogs
Each and every dog will teach us something. Like us, all dogs are individuals. Every dog that comes through our life in some way will our lives; teaching us bits and pieces that we can use.
No dog in my life ever taught me as much as Luke did. He taught me life lessons; but mostly he taught me about dogs and the very essence of a dog. He had issues, the kind of issues that many dogs have when they must live in our human world. The difference with Luke was his outward expression. He was demonstrative, every emotion was bigger than life. Seeing the world through Luke's eyes catapulted me to a place where many never get to go. But this doesn't happen to everyone who deals with dogs. Many don't see or care to see what is going on. Lots of people just go on in their day to day never stopping to watch their dog or try to figure out what is going on.
Watching is a must, watching and learning. The first step is to teach yourself to watch; the next is to really learn about what you are seeing. I often listen to new clients as they attempt to tell me what is going on with their dog. The entire time they talk, I listen and watch. I'm always watching. I really can't turn my watcher off, Luke instilled this in me. After I watch, I explain what is really going on. They listen and an "ah ha" moment comes for them, it always does.
It is amazing that just one misunderstood behavior can make things worse. One wrong behavior from us can create a huge mess. Learning about dog behavior comes with time and experience. Yes you can read about it in a book but unless you have dealt with it, you really will not understand. Even then there are many different ways to look at a behavior.
Having been a private dog trainer for years, handled dogs in the show ring, groomed, photographed and written about dogs; I have seen, experienced and dealt with dogs for forty years. But just being around dogs does not teach you to watch; that must be learned and worked on if you want to be good at it. I tend to be a watcher by nature; I do it in the human world as well. I love to watch body language. Humans can say one thing but their body or actions tell the truth. This is where the "talk the talk, but do you walk the walk" saying comes from.
Dogs say a lot and if you aren't watching, you'll never understand any of it. It amazes how many people live with dogs for years and years and know nothing about dog behavior. I often listen to people talking about dogs; I take a backseat and just listen. People love to talk, not many really listen. They may look like they are listening but most like to just talk. Listening is important; for when you listen, you learn. Watching and listening go hand in hand in our canine/human world.