ALBERT was such a high anxiety & high stressed dog for no reason and they couldn’t understand why. He was constantly panting and often would snap becoming aggressive fearfully biting his dad who would be trying to calm him down. Albert never wanted to go outside because it freaked him out.
They had his sister MAVIS from the same litter and she was so calm and chill, why was he so completely opposite they wondered?
It turned out that when Albert and Mavis were puppies abandoned with their mom dog in the desert, a coyote tried to attack and eat Albert because he was the runt and an easy target. He got away thank God.
Albert’s issue was that he was constantly straining to hear noises from far away so he could make sure to attack 1st. When he did hear a far off sound, he’d snap going completely berserk!
I explained to him that he was no longer exposed to danger like that and the home protects him from predators as does his mom & dad when outside.
I told Albert when he gets stressed, to munch on a toy to distract himself, take deep breaths & just think of something fun in his head. I told him when his dad uses the phrase, “Calm now, everything is okay love,” he is being reminded he’s safe. His dad used this verbal connection with Albert to remind him of our talk.
His sister Mavis did have one little issue. She’d jump up on them excitedly. His wife was ill and it was causing her injury. So, they asked me to tell her not to jump up anymore. I told her they were happy she was so happy, but explained how jumping on them hurt especially because we don’t have fur like she does to protect the skin. She was glad to know and would be “happy” staying on the ground instead.
The next day, I was giving such wonderful feedback about the two:
Date: July 10, 2017 at 8:14:25 PM PDT Thanks Cindy,
[Albert] is out for the count right now. Totally relaxed. Stretched out and asleep [shortly after your talk with him]. I will use the safe and calm words often [that you suggested].
I thought maybe he had been be abused by humans but the coyote or other animal attack [he mentioned] makes so much sense now that I think about his reactions. It is the distant noise that gets to him the most [like you said in the session]. A kid playing next door gets no reaction, a kid shouting half a mile away gets him hyped up. Same with dog sounds. The dog next door barks all day and no reaction from Albert. A small dog barks in the street below and he goes crazy.
I received more feedback almost a month later:
Date: August 5, 2017 at 4:06:24 PM PDT Hi Cindy,
Albert & Mavis are doing great. I can’t remember the last time Mavis jumped up at us. A couple of times she started and stopped mid flight as if she remembers your chat. Albert is so much happier and calmer. He is almost always with a chew/bone in his mouth now and grabs one before going outside. It definitely calms him down.
I like the fact that you have an open conversation with them!
It still amazes me how wonderfully loving animals are and how they really want to be the best for us, but that sometimes just a few little words with them, can make the biggest difference in them. ❤