The energy that makes up life is not stationary, it’s a constant changing state, from heat to sound for instance.
All of life is energy moving from one state to another.
How an animal feels, its Emotions are also energy, in motion. The word comes from the latin emovere ~ to move from or out of .
How a dog feels, or what emotion it experiences, is a constant flowing change of energy. The behaviour the dog acts is an expression of the emotion they felt at the time the action took place. For the dog the action is never good or bad, it is simply an expression of energy.
For instance we could see that an emotion – a flow of energy, could be stored as a potential, and then have kinetic force when released. A dog unable to express this emotional energy would often, in the end release it in a faster, quicker way.
A dog is always looking to express its energy, just as we do although we may not realise it. If they are able to act behaviours that allow them to do so this emotional energy continues to flow, it completes itself and is grounded and released safely.
If for any reason they are stopped from expressing themselves, just as with us frustration can build. The emotion can literally get built up and even stored in the dog’s body as a stored stress or trauma, influencing how they feel in future situations or in general. The body part that stores the trauma can also become weak or show an ailment.
A dog with a lot of stored energy will find itself experiencing more reactivity, anxiety or concern about life.
In Kevin Behan’s fantastic book Your Dog is Your Mirror he names this ‘unresolved energy’ which can be in the dog themselves but also in the owner.
Dogs, at least a lot of them, are such problem solvers, they will look to release unresolved emotional energy and often also take on their owners unresolved emotional energies too.
Dogs that try to bite other dogs are often attempting to release unresolved energy that is either stored in themselves, or actually from (stored in) the other dog. Many dogs that get bitten are for varying reasons stiff in their hinds or carrying unresolved energy in a the part of their body that was bitten.
Many dog ailments can be attributed to unresolved emotional energy in their owner. Skin conditions are very often attributed to emotions an owner is feeling, and certain organs and glands relate to certain aspects of our energy centres, or chakras. This can all too often become interrelated the more a dog takes on an owner’s emotions.
The majority of a dogs expression of energy is via its mouth, this may be due to the fact the emotional limbic system has so many nerve endings or outlets, at the mouth. Biting, chewing, vocalisation for instance.
Because they rely so much on their emotions as their guidance through life when we train a dog a certain command or perhaps to do something like travel in a car it can be very easy for the dog to include the emotion of how the command felt rather than or as well as the sound of the word. If for any reason a dog cannot feel a certain way they may not be able to adhere to the command, or in some circumstance simply saying the command perhaps even something fun like ‘paw’ would encourage them to again feel whatever they felt at the time the command was stored in their memory.
A dog’s whole existence is based on how it feels, how it feels is all it knows. All it has to guide itself from moment to moment.
Being able to influence and understand their emotions, and the emotional energy that’s makes up their existence is for me the true future of dog training.
Linking the huge value of their hearts and other senses of emotional information, with the minimal input their minds play is the new way to solve behaviour issues and connect with dogs on a basis of total love and trust over any need to control.
The Peace that is sought thorough the use of commands is always present. Finding it first often means no command is ever needed.