Are you good at calm?

How good are you at doing nothing? What about your dog? Many people have dogs that pace, circle, bark to be let out, then immediately bark to be let in. It's not that the dog has to pee... he's stuck obsessively in motion. When people get stressed out, a lot of them will choose a constant state of motion to avoid dealing with or processing through the stress. For example, when I have to go to a dinner party I get stressed. I love people and I love good food... but I am uncomfortable in big crowds of people I don't know when I feel compelled to make small talk. I can do it, and I am always grateful for the opportunity to stretch myself and practice things I'm not good at but it still causes me a level of stress and what do I do? I move, I circle the room, I tap my foot and wring my hands. My stress needs a physical outlet because I haven't conditioned myself to be calm and comfortable in this situation. The same is true for our dogs. If your dog can't sit still and constantly paces then he needs to practice being still and calm. Place with duration. And just like me, tapping my foot and wringing my hands, your dog will struggle with this at first. Getting up, circling, even shaking or whining because they have to stay put and all the stress has to go somewhere. This is the time when you need to hang in there and wait it out. This is the messy middle and the most important mountain to conquer. It is so tempting to give in here but I promise you, if you hang in there and let the dog process through this challenge he will come out on the other side of it calm, confident and infinitely more comfortable... the worst thing you can do is let your dog stay stuck in that place of stressful obsessive motion. Dogs need to learn to be calm and still because we ask them to be... not just because they are physically exhausted. Physical exercise is great, but mastering this mental challenge is a billions times better. Hugs to all! πŸ’—

Kristen Cameron