August 6th, 2010
Being bitten by your dog or having them use your house as a toilet are two very different problems yet their source is identical: your dog considers himself superior or at least equal to you. Dogs think differently than we do. The way dogs think or dog psychology is based on pack mentality which means dogs are programmed to think as a group. Each pack's members have an earned order of ranking with certain Do's and Don'ts.
But people don't necessarily know this. People tend to treat dogs as equals and this is how problem behaviors are created.
I have been lucky enough to have dogs in my life that pretty much did what I told them to do and were easy to handle. And then I decided to get a couple of rescue Dobermans with issues. Zeus in 2001 and Jody in 2004. As an animal communicator I approached them with compassion and understanding with the attitude that I could communicate with them so I would know what they needed. The one thing I hadn't counted on was that I was treating them as equals and not demanding their respect. My teacher told me that animals must be allowed to have a say in their lives and be treated as equals. I think what she was referring to was not to be like those controlling and mean dog (elephants, etc) trainers who used physical force as a means to getting dogs to be obedient and in doing so caused the animals to shut down emotionally. So with that in mind I entered into my relationships with my very different dogs, Zeus and Jody, as loving partners. And then the aggression started.
It seemed to come out of nowhere. The first time Jody bit me it hurt so bad I almost passed out. She got me in the thigh right at the femoral plexus, which is a group of nerve bundles mid thigh. Let's just say it is an excruciating place to get bit.
She would get excited on or off leash and bite Zeus or me. I would become really afraid to walk her and would take her places so we wouldn't run into anyone. This went on for years. I tried reward based training, screaming, physical force, energy healing, holosync technology, Bach flower remedies, hell we were even on Dog Whisperer Show. But really none of this worked.
All in all she bit me 37 times. And then one day she relinquished power to me. It was two things that made the difference: one changing her focus from her emotions to me and meeting her with an emotional intensity that told her she could not bite me any more. And two she spent 2 weeks at Brandon Fouche’s Dog Rehab Center in Los Angeles. That day she gave up her rank over me was a miracle. I felt free and powerful. I was in charge and she really listened to me. No more charging other dogs. No more bites.
If you are having trouble with your dog it all starts and ends with your relationship. It is a very simple thing but not easy to do. It means looking at you and being brutally honest. It means having incredible courage to keep going despite everything being wrong. And it means having faith that things will get better trusting that God has a plan for you. That this chaotic mess is actually a blessing in disguise all designed to get you to a higher place but you just can't see it yet. It's called spiritual growth and it is not easy. But nothing worth having ever was.