July 1, 2012
July 1, 2012

Dog Whisperer

I began watching the Dog Whisperer with the trainer, Cesar Millan to learn how to deal with dogs who act up. I thought it would help me if I decided to get another dog. What I found is that it also helped me to understand people better.

Cesar Millan illustrates in each segment that there are two major ways to work with disciplining dogs. One is to understand that they are dogs and think like dogs who live in the moment and reflect the owners emotions. Dogs have evolved from packs and look for direction from the leader. When calm assertive direction is forth coming, they react in an instinctual way following that lead. However, there are times that Cesar has to wait for whatever amount of time is necessary until the canine becomes what Cesar terms as “calm submissive” I see it in humans as “calm acceptance”. Dogs “read” our energy. If a human is upset or distressed, anxious or telling themselves a story about what the animal is doing and why - then the animal continues to “act out” in the primal way that it has inherited.

I had an example of a puppy reading my energy today. It came into my yard as I was working in my flower garden. It began to follow me and playfully brushed up against me and then went down on its front paws, running off wagging its tail. I laughed as it jumped around me. Since it had a collar on I told it that it should “go home”. It was a fun interlude. The puppy read my joyful energy and mirrored it with its own game.

When the canine accepts the human as the leader and head of the “pack” it enables the dog to automatically follow orders. At that point, the majority of offending canines comply within a short period of time. Only those who have a type of post traumatic stress syndrome may need to recuperate with balanced animals so that they get back their mojo.

It is interesting how this can apply to human behavior. A calm assertive/ acceptance energy works well with all relationships. Personalizing (telling oneself a story) prevents individuals from resolving the issue at hand. This similarity between human and canines basically is misunderstanding where the dog’s perspective is different from ours which leads to rouge behaviour. Similarly relationships often misinterpret intentions and then act out accordingly. Since humans use language to identify situations and feelings, the basic concepts often get lost in the interpretation of what is really transpiring between people. Being accepting of your partner’s feelings even if you do not understand or agree with them helps to diminish the emotional tension. Only then can the disaccord be addressed.

Gender differences require different language skills because the interpretation of what is said is so vastly different with each sex. Waiting for both parties to calm down before communicating aides in identifying the issues and allows better understanding in order to bring about a resolution. In a sense the “energy” that Cesar Millan suggests is identical to the energy that is needed to handle difficult relationships. It has nothing to do with being right or wrong, but instead allowing time to sort out the issues individually before expressing them with each other allows the partner to comply on his or her own terms.

So the same concept used with canines can actually work with humans. Number one: understand that males and females think differently ( see my articles on that ). Secondly: changing the approach to one another, so that the final result is satisfactory. The best results are facilitated by waiting at least one hour or more until each party is calm enough to rethink how to manage the exchange without fighting.

The major difference with humans from canines is that humans decide on their own how to solve the situation and are not submissive followers. Instead the analogy I wish to emphasize is: comparing energy (we call it attitude), acceptance of the other person’s feelings, and to patiently wait while comparing the need to analyse the best approach until verbal communication can be done in a quiet orderly manner in order to resolve relationship differences. In order to accomplish this; remember you love each other, that is why you entered into a relationship in the first place.