Is Your Dog Happy?

Simply put – letting your dog be a dog is what really makes them happy!

We all need a purpose. It’s what makes us get up in the morning and want to tackle the day. Dogs aren’t any different. When we domesticated these incredible animals we gradually forgot that they have needs and wants that are specific to their species. If you take a few steps back, you will see how much dogs are suppressed. While our intentions to have a dog as a companion have been good, we’ve also lost sight of the importance of free will. I’m not suggesting that dogs run a muck and take over the world; however, I am proposing that we embrace their canine needs and individual desires. The latter helps a dog to develop and grow to their full potential.

A multitude of things make dogs happy. Let’s begin with looking at things from their perspective. Does your dog hear “no” “stop”, “leave it”, “eh ah” more than once a day? If the answer is yes, then they are not being taught, they are being reprimanded without clear direction of what is “acceptable. Can you imagine living with a species that is different than you, neither of you speak the same language (at least not yet) and all you hear is condemnation? At the worst is creates anxiety and sadness, the antithesis of happiness.

Refrain from suppressing every little thing they do. Instead, just let them sniff, play, dig, chase, and chew on appropriate chew toys. Provide them with canine enrichment games, a nice bunch of dog friends, give them fresh filtered water, watch them have fun running after squirrels and letting them take naps.

What else you ask? YOU make your dog happy. On the other hand, you can also create a great deal of anxiety and sadness for your dog. If you’re stressed, sad or angry your dog is definitely not happy. We all know what it feels like to be around someone that has bad energy, is in a pissy mood or is having a meltdown. Having a dog requires exercising a great deal of self-awareness. How are we coming across, what is our energy like, are we engaging with our dogs and tuned into them or are we disengaged? If we are looking for an answer to this paramount question of “is my dog happy?” we need to ask ourselves “what’s it like living with me?” Dogs are like sponges and take on an exorbitant amount of energy from us. These are all important questions to ask if we are trying to get to what makes dogs happy. Based on our answers, we either continue being cheerful, patient and fun or we pivot to get on that path.

It’s important to note – while we want dogs to be mannerly, there is also a danger involved in that. Ego is a terrible thing, and it generally rears its ugly head when those around us “appear” to make us look “bad”. Unrealistic expectations imposed on dogs coupled with ego is a recipe for disaster. A truly healthy relationship does not possess either of those. What is needed is a mindset of “how can I support my individual dog to live up to his full potential?” The balance I spoke about in the synergy module holds true here in relation to a dog’s happiness. Think about all the different aspects of your dog’s life and how they impact your dog’s happiness. What they eat, the chemicals they are exposed to, their environment, social circles, mental stimulation, and most importantly – YOU. They collectively influence your dog’s degree of happiness. I look at this as a win-win situation. If we are determined to make our dogs happy then we need to be selfless and constantly aware of our own behavior.

Embrace your dog’s individuality. If you’re looking to have a “perfectly behaved” dog where you are the so-called “Alpha”, this is NOT the place for you. THIS CERTAINLY IS THE PLACE if you’re seeking a better life for your ALREADY perfect dog, free of suppression, frustration and chronic disease. I don’t want a dog that fears me and is broken because I lack knowledge. What I do want is a happy, vibrant, carefree, mannerly dog that is welcome anywhere because I’ve made smart choices and invested the time. I want to teach and guide my dogs intelligently while making sure they have no doubt how much I absolutely adore them. And that’s what I want for your dogs. My approach is backed by science, proven effective, positive and force free. Likewise, nutrition is at the root of wellness and behavior. Biologically appropriate food that dogs are meant to eat. It’s all connected folks.

Epigenetics is critical! That is, the environment which surrounds your dog is more important that the genetics inside. Dogs are magical beings that have been sent here for a paramount purpose – to love, teach, and guide us. While we adore and cherish them, in the end, dogs heal and protect us at a deep level – right to the very core of who we are. If you let them in, you will become kindred spirits with them. Let’s restore dogs’ lives, take the appropriate steps to ensure that they are happy and watch them THRIVE!