Primary to the safety of our dogs and horses is the instinct to follow the leader, and most all are born with a follower personality. This means, if we act like a leader, our pet is born ready to follow our instruction.
Leaders control speed, direction, location, and determine access to food, water and companions. Using the behaviors of a leader we let our animals know we are the leader. Once established as the leader, they obey our instructions. Consistency, also known as trustworthiness in the animal world, is a primary factor in their faith in our leadership.
If you have a history of your animals leading you don’t despair, animals are biologically ready to accept a leader at any moment. Leaning this is worth the effort. The rewards you receive as an established leader are peace among the inhabitants of your home (or stable yard), and a loving bond with your pet.
Evolution has created in our pets the desire of a stable, social unit to live with. To your pet, simple and strict methods of creating and maintaining order is stability. You may have seen a quick clear signal from one animal to another, and then the other instantly defer to authority. Animals are also designed to work out issues quickly. A strong leader will have clear rules, and when consistently applied, your pet will feel comfort and security. If you have a large or small pack or herd, this behavior will create calm within the group.
Our pets also expect to do everything with their social unit: eat, drink, play, provide company, and sleep. Have you noticed? Though you are in control of how many of these you want to do with your pet, know that these activities create and maintain strong social bonds, and if we are talking about dog you fulfill its need for teamwork. Your participation in these bonding activities results in a pet who is happy to be with you and be a part of your pack. A reward we also call love.
Because an animal in physical pain might be trying to protect what hurts, one of the first things to do in discussing behavioral issues is rule out physical or mental pain.
An animal in physical pain can be averse to touch and may bite. A respiratory issue can make them feel miserable and they will look run down. A nervous system issue could cause aggression, disorientation, or loss of bowel control. Animals experiencing cardiovascular issues can seem depressed, and those who just lost a family member (human or animal) will feel sadness. Animals with skin issues are often agitated, irritable, or restless. Animals with a musculoskeletal issue lie down, move slowly, and might refuse to move at all. Animals with digestive issues are often lethargic or cranky.
If we discuss or see any of the above at a session we can address it with acupressure and natural supplements, including essential oils.