I met a new dog friend, Freddie. He wanted to explain to his people why he has been feeling aggressive while being walked on a leash. This aggression is non-existent when he is off leash, freely interacting with other dogs at doggy daycare.
When I connected with Freddie, there was a combination of factors contributing to his leash aggression. These factors included Freddie’s inconsistent, early life experiences and his instinctive behavior when feeling unsafe. He was also picking up stressful emotions from his person during their walk. I’m going to specifically focus on this factor of stressful emotions. My hope is to raise your awareness about how sensitive dogs may be when being walked on a leash.
According to Freddie, there are times when he feels his person’s stressful emotions when they’re walking. It’s as if these emotions are streaming down his leash and into his energy field. By the time Freddie encounters another dog, he often feels unsafe. Therefore, he feels the need to protect and defend himself with threatening barks.
Shake It Off
To help counter this situation, Freddie’s person was given an intuitively-inspired suggestion. This quick, easy method may help discharge your stress first, before walking your dog on a leash. This takes just a few moments to literally ‘shake off’ your stress.
Begin by gently bouncing up and down on the balls of your feet, maybe dropping your heels down with a little more of a thud, wiggle your hips side to side, shake out your arms and hands, raise them up in the air, allowing any free-form dance-like movements.
Continue this shaking movement until your accumulated, static-like stress dissipates. Breathe deeply as you do this movement. Take a tip from your dog in the way that he or she shakes their body and flings undesirable debris from their fur.
If you happened to be too close to your dog when she or he shakes, you may have been the recipient of water, mud or whatever had been clinging to their fur. How did that feel to you? Perhaps it felt emotionally unexpected, surprising or shocking. Physically, it may have felt uncomfortable, cold, slimy, wet or unpleasant. Now just imagine how a dog feels being on the receiving end of all of your emotions, as you re-think your day and re-live your frustrations, resentments, disappointments, and anxieties.
Awareness Is The First Step To Change
Honestly, this is not intended to make you feel guilty about what your dog may be picking up from you. Rather it is intended to gently raise your awareness. Awareness is the first step to change.
Just be aware that your best friend may be helping you to discharge that energy in the only way he or she knows how. Your dog will protect you if you are not feeling safe. The intention is for both you and your dog friend to feel safe, supported and loved.
An Animal Communication session may help raise awareness to help you and your dog feel more relaxed. Remember to set your intention for a safe and enjoyable walk because that energy will flow down the leash to a very receptive dog. Happy tails, happy trails!