If you get 5 colds a year, and you are constantly looking for a new cold medicine, you can pretty much guarantee that you keep getting 5 colds a year.
Hopefully, we all know that no cold medicine actually “cures” the common cold, or prevents you from ever getting it. What is it that cold medicines do?
They treat the symptoms of the cold.
If you’re getting 5 or more colds a year, treating symptoms is not doing your body any help. There is a problem. That problem lies in your overall health, your immune system, your diet, or something else.
Your runny nose is NOT your problem.
Your constant getting sick IS your problem.
Now that we can clearly see that, let’s talk about life with your dog.
When the symptoms of the problem in their relationship with their dog become unbearable.
Unfortunately, not many people are proactive in their relationships and lives with their dogs. They wing it, do everything wrong, create all kinds of behavioral issues in the dog, THEN when THEY find those issues too much to bear, they reach out for help.
They call about what they think are “problems”, at least problems to them.
In a matter of minutes, I can clearly see that all of the problems they are discussing are merely symptoms of a much bigger and much more serious problem, they don’t have a clue how a dog thinks or how to build a functional relationship with one.
That’s a big problem.
This why I give discounts to those with puppies or new dogs when they enroll in my Canine Blueprint Program. One, it makes things easier when somebody learns what to do BEFORE they mess it up, and two, it is an act of thought and planning that I want to make sure I reward and reinforce.
When I’m spending time on social media giving advice to folks for free, of course, they often times don’t like what they are hearing. They don’t like being told the issues their dog has are because of choices the humans have made to remain uneducated on the true nature of their dog. People want quick fixes and are hoping that a 2-minute youtube video can solve all the issues they have with their dog.
That’s insulting to the dog if you ask me. To imply the dog is so basic and shallow that a tip or hack can make everything rainbows and perfection suggests that dogs are not the thinking problem solving wondrous beings that they absolutely are.
Now that we hopefully see that treating symptoms only brings brief, momentary reprieve, let’s talk about helping the dog by addressing the real problem(s) that might exist.
For the person getting all the colds, that might mean taking some time to re evaluate daily life and nutrition. Are they getting the right amount of healthy food? Sleep? Managing stress? These are things that might contribute to the real problem which could be a weak and struggling immune system. Address that, and worrying about the runny nose is not necessary as it won’t run in the first place with less colds happening.
For the dog who pulls on leash, or is “reactive” barking and lunging on every walk, its time to look at the relationship one has with the dog. That’s a situation where the dog more than likely has waaaaay too much freedom at home, and not nearly enough respect for the owner. Then when the dog hits the outside world, the problems in daily life and relationship are exposed and you see the behavior that results.
For the puppy owner wanting to stop nipping, jumping, and chewing, the root problem is about education and expectations. The puppy owner who understands how puppies think, and what they need in terms of teaching, structure, and guidance, doesn’t ever have to post in a FB group about stopping the totally normal and easy to resolve nipping issue.
For the owner of a dog who barks relentlessly at every movement outside of the living room window, the problem might appear to be barking. The reality is the problem is the dog's perspective on life, its role in your home, and your ability to address things that bother it.
Fix the problems, and these symptoms will go away, or decrease so significantly that the final step will be much easier.
I'll get right to it and skip any round about creative way of leading you to where your dog needs you.
The common theme to nearly every issue people have with their dogs is their own education and understanding of the dog itself.
People simply do not know what their dog needs to be fulfilled, balanced, and in some cases the dog they want them to be. I say "some cases" because another issue is that because people understand so little about their dog, they often have very unrealistic expectations of what they want their dog to be.
The first time dog owner who gets a basset hound or beagle, yet wants the dog to be quiet.
The inexperienced dog owner who gets a working terrier then wants it to cuddle calmly with them every night when they watch TV.
The unsuspecting adopter who gets a 5 year old American pitbull terrier from a shelter then wonders why it screams, salivates, and goes bonkers every time it sees a cat on a walk.
These are all situations where human education could have prevented so much frustration, confusion, and ultimately heartache for all involved. There is a disturbingly growing problem in our culture where people do not want to acknowledge or understand what a dog REALLY is, instead wanting to make it what they want it to be.
People do that in their interpersonal relationships as well.
How's that typically work out?
If you want to build the type of relationship with your dog that you want, its time to really identify what those wants are, and if they're fair to the dog. Then, you can work on finding the balance and fulfillment that life with a dog can provide. It's a truly amazing experience when it all clicks into place and it all starts with education.
You can find out more about how to get that education by visiting this page that explains my unique and one of a kind program designed with dog owners in mind.