Often my clients feel some resistance when it comes to crates.
We make a deal, while we work together lets lean on them and see how it goes,
If at the end you still don’t like them you can pack them up and sell them off.
They agree, and what happens every time?
They leave them up and their dogs often take themselves into their crates when they are tired,
Overwhelmed by too many people and need a break, or just some where they enjoy being.
It’s lovely to see them find comfort in something outside of their owner where they can feel safe and secure everyone needs and deserve that kind of space in their lives.
But what I really wanted to talk about with this photo and conversation between myself and my client is this.
Both dogs have never really been this close to another, in fac both of them really like their own space, but here we see them by choice cramping themselves into the same crate, leaving for a bit of a bird chase then back to the same crate again.
One of these dogs was often escaping his yard to simply go sleep in the neighbours cars.. yep, not a joke he wasn’t up for a wonder as much as he wanted some time out and some peace and quiet, we debated whether or not it was because the dog he lived with at the time was a lot more boisterous then he was.
However when you compare these two Lupin (chocolate lab) is more extroverted than Gus and used to over shadow Gus a lot and he would be unconsciously pushed into the background just because he couldn’t be bothered to try and compete and seemed content with things
But really there was a lot of underlying tension going on with these guys, not just towards each other but life in general, the communication within the whole family was a bit all over the place.
When I first start working with people, the first thing we have to do is start untangling the web of what each dog and person is really trying to say and do, break it down, simplify things a little more, help owners see and understand where the communication break downs are happening, help them read their dogs better, and understand what they are trying to “say” ask for, or show what they need.
Owners quickly start to realise that their dogs really do want to do the right things by their family, they just don’t know how, I love the moment where owners can really see when their dogs just simply don’t understand what’s being asked of them.
And as communication grows and develops between people and dogs, naturally dogs become a lot better at communicating and bonding with one another, they are carrying less tension, more confident to express themselves in healthier ways, feel through their emotions without their emotions getting “too big” and over riding their abilities, moving from instincts into thinking takes time and skill building for us as well as dogs, and their owners are better equipped to guide them through situations they may still not quite know or understand how to navigate.
I have worked with a lot of dogs who haven’t even been able to be around other dogs, and then they can, because I work on the communication with the people and dogs FIRST because if you can’t give your dog feedback and have him listen in situations where his emotions may have elevated, how on earth are you going to help him move through a social situation with another dog.
These guys have never hated each other or struggled with one another to where being around one another was dangerous or unhealthy, but they have never been this close before until now, as their relationships with their humans grow and improve so does their relationships with one another and I gotta say it’s one of the sweetest updates I have been given yet.
They have had a couple of hiccups recently with a recent move of house, exciting times but can also unsettle dogs, their owners reached out and said heres whats happening, and not what should we do but and heres how we dealt with it.
They were equipped and able to find the answers imedietely and they were just double checking that they were going about it the right way, and they couldn’t have handled the moving hiccups any better than they did.
And they did that ALL by themselves.
So when I ask what is life going to look like for the next 14 years with your dog, I don’t just mean day to day stuff, I’m also talking about when things change, moves, vacations, births and deaths.
Our lives never stay the same and I’m glad one of the biggest things I can help my clients with is knowing and confidentially dealing with and moving through those times of being unsettled, and they know it’s not a step backward or a sign everything is falling apart, it becomes a test to see just how far they have come.
And with this recent move and the dogs having some unsettled feels about it they are able to take comfort in one another which previously would not have been a thing.