Changing dog behavior is the focus for dog training right? What if you could change your dog’s behavior without focusing on them, and increase your teamwork?
Changing posture, and changing dog behavior is one of the premises with Tellington TTouch®. The focus is usually in changing the dog’s posture and behavior.
What about the dog handler or rider’s posture, stance, use of their body and it’s influence with the dog or horse? What role does the person’s carriage play in changing dog behavior?
We’ve made easy adjustments in the handler
in our Jitter Buster classes, Solutions for Reactive Dogs
and we watched dog’s behavior change before our eyes!
Sally Swift, founder of Centered Riding taught us “Correct Use of Self” for the rider. Sally found when you are mechanically using your body correctly your horse will respond in accordance.
Another key element Sally taught was “Comparable Parts.” In her book Centered Riding 2 (page 78), she states, “…if you free your tense spot, your horse will free his comparable spot. He is your mirror.”
Sally goes on to say, ” As you ride, if something does not feel quite right, it is best to check yourself first, then the horse. It is usually your problem which is effecting the horse.”
How does this relate to dog behavior such as walking a dog who pulls, or doesn’t just follow along and pulls over to wherever they want to go?
Last week we added a body wrap around the waist of one person while she was leading her dog.
Frankie, her dog, used to habitually pull her off balance when he wants to go sniff something – sometimes he pulled forcefully away from her.
In adding the body wrap around her waist, Ruta said she felt more stable. Frankie only leaned, but pulled less!
When we added a wrap spiraling down her leg from hip to foot, she said she felt she could walk more deliberately.
Ruta said she felt even more stable walking with one of her leg’s wrap. Ruta and her dog walked in step with each other, softly bending in sync together.
Frankie, did not pull on the leash when she was in better balance, he did get distracted, and did not even go over to sniff around. He simply and easily followed right along with her!
Frankie also began taking very deliberate steps mirroring the specific way she was walking. Notice each of their left legs are stepping at the same time in the above photo to the right.
Both Ruta and Frankie are bending their body softly around the turn. They are each in good balance in themselves, and able to be in sync together. Dog behavior changed without having a direct focus on him. We were exploring what would happen when we added a wrap and if this would help Ruta feel more balanced when walking.
Everyone was so surprised that a simple change in the person could have such a dramatic change in their dog’s behavior and way of moving. A week later, Ruta said Frankie was overall much better on all their walks, and has become quieter at home as well!
A new level of teamwork and collaboration was born by adding these simple tools, without focusing directly on the dog and what he was doing. Comparable Parts with dog handling and training came to life quite clearly. How we are ‘being’ in our own body really does effect the other.
When we walk in balance, our animals can walk in balance with us. When we change our posture, our behavior and way we move changes – and our animals come into sync with us.
Sandy Rakowitz, Founder of One Heart Healing Center and In Sync Coaching, a powerful catalyst for women to step into confidence, courage and coherence with their animals, lives and business so they can Live and Manifest Their Dreams.
Contact Sandy to schedule your complimentary Discovery Session to see how she can best help you find the solutions for you to ‘Step In Sync’ and live your dream life with your animals, life, business.
Jenny Pearce says
Lovely timing Sandy I have a new rescue dog pulling on the lead and because I walk in very good and effortlessly powerful posture (it’s a passion of mine), I hadn’t thought of going back to myself to fix it. Derrr…
A funny story about wraps. I had thought wraps were a bit errr… you know… placebo… and then we had an experience with my 18hand warmblood Oliver that changed that. He still had a reactive streak in him that was occasionally disconcerting despite all our beautiful work with him and one day he showed us that straight after birth, the person who picked his giant little foal body up to carry him into the stable, was frightened of his thrashing around and that escalation of fear and reaction to get away was imprinted on him.
And we released that imprinting with T Team wraps – being very much in the Present Moment, using our Inner Guidance system to know how far to go in THIS moment. (Thanks to Sue McKibbin who knew how to do it. and Steve Weir who was riding him at the time. ) Oliver was already a soft sweetheart, but the bandaging / wrapping took that final edge from him and turned turned him into a giant teddy bear. I’ve had a few lessons in my life about keeping an open mind, but I think that’s the last lesson I’ll ever need! 🙂
Sandy Rakowitz says
So beautiful Jenny! Thanks for letting us know of your wrap story with your lovely horse. Wraps are such a simple tool to use and often have such wonderful and surprising results. Bravo for you for following the threads and staying open to cotinuing to find ways that work for you and your horse!