"Leadership should be
born out of the needs of those who would be
affected by it"
- Marian Anderson
"You can take the dog
out of the wolf pack but
you can't take the wolf
pack out of the dog"
- Jan Fennell
"The art of
communication is the language of leadership"
- James Humes
"Force is all-conquering,
but it's victories are
- Abraham Lincoln
"Leaders must be
close enough to relate
to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them"
- John Maxwell
"We must become the change we want to see"
- Muhatma Gandhi
Are you having problems with your best friend?
Is he refusing to play ball?
Almost all problem behaviour in dogs can be seen as an attempt to communicate and - when viewed in the right context - there is a positive intention behind that behaviour.
This may be difficult to comprehend when your dog is destroying your home, resorting to aggressive behaviour, dragging you around the park or refusing to eat his breakfast!
Things do begin to make sense however, as we begin to truly understand the world from the perspective of the domestic dog and recognise the motivation behind these and other problem behaviours.
Understanding what is being communicated and then communicating back again, is at the heart of Dog Listening.
Pioneered by the world famous Dog Listener Jan Fennell, Dog Listening is the art of canine communication and is based on studies of the domestic dog's direct ancestor - the wolf.
Once we understand the world from our dog's perspective, we can communicate with him in a way that he can understand and resolve problem behaviour.
What does your dog believe he is doing and why is he doing it?
A dog's behaviour is often symbolic, they use ritualised behaviour to convey information to each other - and us!
If we donít understand what a dogís behaviour really signifies - and it is very easy for us to misinterpret as we tend to anthropomorphise (humanise) - we are likely to misunderstand and miscommunicate.
The result can be problem behaviour:
General lack of cooperation
Pulling on the lead and poor recall
Obsessive and compulsive behaviour *
Problems around food
Anxiety, fear and stress
Aggressive behaviour **
* This can include - tail-chasing, biting and chewing paws and excessive self-grooming. Obsessive licking of objects and/or people. Pacing and fixating on objects or people. Coprophagia (eating faeces).
** Aggressive behaviour towards other dogs, is the number one behavioural problem that we are asked to help people with. To find out how you can considerably reduce the risk of a puppy developing this - and any of the other issues mentioned above please click here
Without understanding why a behavioural problem is occurring we are forced to treat the symptoms; gadgets and gizmos, obedience training, excessive exercising and the use of force, are all attempts to make your dog behave in a certain way - and very often they cause your dog more stress in the process!
Stress has a major impact on a dog's behaviour, affecting him both mentally and physically!
Stress can manifest in many ways and most of the behavioural problems mentioned above are associated with high levels of stress!
Stress related behaviour is often misinterpreted as 'high-spirited' or 'over-excited' behaviour. Some dogs go the other way and will 'shut down' when they feel overwhelmed and unable to cope.
Physical illness and disease can also be the result of stress. Autoimmune disease, skin allergies, irritable bowel, arthritis, diabetes and cancer - to mention a few - have all been linked to the effect of prolonged exposure to stress.
Dog Listening approaches the problem from a different angle.
Instead of trying to manage the symptoms alone, Dog Listening goes to the root of the problem. By changing the way that you interact with your dog on a daily basis, you can give him information about leadership that will reassure him and allow him to begin to relax.
It then becomes possible to guide and influence your dog's behaviour in a kind and positive way - without the use of force, gadgets or gizmos - and resolve problem behaviour by re-shaping his conditioned responses.
By calmly and consistently implementing signals that your dog can actually understand, you can communicate with him in his own language, gain his cooperation and reduce everyones stress levels!
A stressed and confused dog often results in a stressed owner! A vicious circle of stress can develop, with dog and owner feeding each others anxiety!
There are four simple steps to breaking this circle of stress and presenting yourself as the calm, confident Pack Leader that all dogs innately seek -
Four simple steps:
Understand the world from his perspective
To a dog the human world can be a confusing and threatening place. Find out why he reacts in the way he does.
Learn his language
Dogs have a language of their own, they donít understand human and can only learn to make associations with certain words.
Give him the correct information
By giving him the correct information in a language he can understand, you consistently confirm his subordinate position in the pack and reassure him of your leadership qualities.
Calmly and consistently show him what you want
Dogs arenít mind readers. You need to show him how you want him to behave and you must do so calmly and consistently.
Develop the relationship with your dog that you both truly deserve!
Become a calm, confident and consistent Pack Leader and watch as your dog thrives in an environment that is fulfilling her unique requirements.
Feel the joy that a calm, cooperative and well-balanced dog can bring to your life!
In your home, show your dog - in a way that she can understand - that you are the provider, the one who makes the decisions and keeps the pack safe.
Teach your dog to calmly walk with you when you head out into the wider world - balanced, cooperative and responsive.
Reassure her that as Pack Leader you will keep the pack safe from any perceived danger that you might meet out there, such as other dogs, people or traffic.
As Pack Leader you lead by example and are able to resolve problem behaviour because your dog trusts and respects you.
By letting your dog know that you and any other human pack members will take absolute responsibilty for the pack and the den, you allow her to relax and take a subordinate yet valued role in a happy and harmonious family group.
Amichienģ Bonding - Canine Communication - developed by the world famous Dog Listener Jan Fennell, is the method we use to do this.
Please feel free to verify my credentials by visiting Jan Fennell's website at www.janfennellthedoglistener.com