Sam’s November Newsletter

5 Dec

NOVEMBER 2012

 november_newsletter

SAM SAYS:   “I went to Mt Roskill Primary Junior School.  It is a huge school and I nearly got lost, but Annie showed me the way to the classrooms.     The children were amazing, they represent so many nationalities and in every country in the world they have dogs just like me.   That’s why it is so important for you all to remember that dogs are dogs and not humans.   Remember to treat us like animals and we will feel safe, but only if you are the Pack Leader and tell us what to do”.

 sam “There’s something going on at homeI feel it for sure in every bone

Paper and boxes, Annie is packing

Piling up boxes, and lots of stacking

We’re shifting house, it’s all a bit scarey

I don’t know where I’ll sleep, I’m feeling wary.

I hope when the packers come, they take my bed

Where else can I sleep and lay down my head?

It’s only eight more sleeps till “moving time”

And we drive out.  That’s the end of this rhyme”.

 

“Dogs play “tiggy” too:

Dogs like to play “tag” just like kids do, but they play it differently.

When dogs meet, first they smell each others bottoms” – would it be polite if we did that?

Then they circle around and decide whether they like each other or not.

Once they are comfortable, they will play and chase each other.

When a new dog visits a house, the dog who lives there will want the visiting dog to know who is the BOSS.   So he will race towards the new dog and take out his legs, and knock the visiting dog down.  That is the way he is saying “Hey mate, I live here, you can visit and be my friend, but just remember this is my house”.  This makes the visiting dog feel safe and they become good friends.

Last Christmas day when Dean arrived at his sister’s house for Christmas dinner, his new dog GRIZZ (you can see his photo on this website at his 1st birthday party) was walking up to the front door, and TOYER (A German Pointer) came racing out the front door and bowled Grizz for a six.   Grizz rolled over on the grass and then, after they did the “bottom sniffing routine” they were best friends.  Now when Grizz visits Toyer, Toyer doesn’t need to “take out his legs” because Grizz remembers that “this is Toyer’s house and she is the resident dog here  on her patch”.    In fact if Dean arrives without Grizz, Toyer spends the whole time looking for Grizz, because he is her friend and sort of her “dog cousin” and she wanted him to come and play with him..

Tell us your stories, everyone has a dog story to tell,  perhaps next month I will tell you about the time a dog leapt out of the bushes in Cornwall Park and bit my bottom!!!!!!  Ouchee!!

Marj.

Director Administration.

SAM’S DOG RULES.

We are what we think

                 We feel what we think

                         What we feel gets created.

Only human beings will follow unstable Pack leaders  –  animals will not.

If you are having trouble with your dogs or children look to yourself first,

understand what energy you are in and choose accordingly.

 

Annie’s Doggy 101 teaching is great.  

Dogs learn very quickly when they know you are the Leader.

If no-one takes the authority, they will.

Then we are all in trouble.

Go the “Packleaders”.   . Write to me at  sam@samsdogrules.com   

The power of Victim Energy

4 Dec

I haven’t got any dog stories to share with you this week.

This week I’ve been hearing stories start with the comment “Oh I feel so guilty”. Then they proceed to tell a story along the lines of “I feel so guilty I took a mental health day off work” or “I just couldn’t tell my friend I didn’t feel like having coffee with her today, so I made up a story”. It confirmed for me how easy it is to understand dog language. Human language, both verbal and physical is a dance in disguise. Often we say and do things in order to get a top up of energy from someone else.
You will notice that when listening to “I feel guilty´” stories your energy will change. It goes from feeling calm, to concerned /apprehensive to finally feeling really tired after you’ve heard the whole story.

This “guilty energy” is called Victim Energy.

If you do feel genuinely guilty for taking a mental health day from Guilty Dogwork or family you shouldn’t be doing it. This is because your guilt will never let you enjoy the day and you will spend most of it trying to get your energy fix from others.
This is a powerful form of energy. It draws us all in. It’s like they need reassurance that they will still be liked and/or loved by us. What they don’t realise is that they will continue to be liked and/or loved by us. They feel the need to create drama to get their energy fix off those of us who are drawn into their story.

I’m sure there are very few people in the world who don’t have anything to feel guilty about. It’s a part of our nature. Guilt usually comes from making decisions and not foreseeing the circumstances that unfold, that you had no intention of creating. In some cases this guilt can take a lifetime of trying to forgive oneself and or others.

In a dogs world this would not be tolerated.

The energy a victim creates is so uncomfortable that it upsets the whole pack. Calmness is no longer an option and the whole packs energy will change. In a dogs world people who elicit support by playing the victim would be given a severe growling. If they still didn’t give up this victim energy, they would be chased from the pack until they dropped the victim status.
Once they had dropped this victim status and realised they were safe, they would relax and the pack would return to being in a state of calm energy.
How easy to be a dog, it’s all very clear cut, calmness is what is required. I think the best I can do for myself and my energy is to make sure I don’t allow myself to become a victim, and when I hear a sentence that starts with ‘I feel so guilty” I should head for the hills!

A happy ending for a little Bichon Frise

27 Nov

A little Bichon Frise got rescued from the Humane Society by a lovely 80 year old gentlemen, his dog had just died.  At the same time, Bob had sold his house and moved in to the Peninsula Club in Whangaparaoa and was allowed to take his little dog with him.

It all got off to a bad start when his little dog flew at another dog and bit him quite badly.

Poor old Bob was horrified and decided that the safest thing to do would be to take the dog back to the Humane Society where he had got him from.

The Humane Society was most reluctant to take him back so Bob decided, the only sensible course of action was to have the dog put down.

One of the nurses at the Village took Bob and the dog to the Vets.  When they walked in there was a gentleman sitting there with his Dachshund.  Bob arranged with the vet nurse to leave his dog and for them to put him down.

Bob was obviously upset so the Nurse from the Village said “come on Bob we will go and have a coffee”.

They drove off and found a café and had been sitting there for ten minutes when the man from the Vets with the Dachshund came over and said “I am so glad we have found you, I would love the little dog you brought in.”  Bob said “Oh no you are too late he has been put down”. The man with the Dachshund said “We are not too late, I asked them to put him on hold until I found you”.

“I really like your little dog and know it would make a great pet for my daughter, could I take him off you?”.

Bob, of course was delighted and said “How did you find me, and what would you have done if you hadn’t found me?”   The gentleman said “I heard you say you were going for a coffee, and I would have gone to every café on the Peninsula until I found you.”

They went back to the Vets, organised the transfer of ownership, and Bob went away a happy man and so did the Bichon Frise.

Sometimes when we have difficult choices to make, we make them and lo and behold they can have the happiest of endings. Talk about serendipity.

Sam, Annie and Plato have been busy shifting house!

19 Nov

Sam’s finally shifted house with Annie and Plato.

The shift went really well because Annie made sure that the whole process was calm and relaxed. She was lucky because she had weeks to pack and get it all done in a nice leisurely manner so all we really noticed was the house getting smaller and smaller.   We did get a bit concerned in the last week, when Annie’s bed was gone, with everything else and all that was left was the couch and a bit of kitchen stuff.  For the last week we all slept in the lounge (Annie was on the couch), it was like camping out.  We all knew something was up with these actions.

Annie tried to keep everything as normal as possible, we still went for our walks, we went to work, I had my meals at my usual time.  I was put out at night at my usual time so I felt safe with the familiarity of it all, and so did Plato.

When we got to our new address, both Plato and I settled in like we had always lived there.  Annie did get a Feliway from the Vets.  This is a PLUG IN put straight into the power point and it releases pheromones that cats love.  This made Plato feel at home straight away.

Mandy and Mark, where we are staying are good Pack Leaders, but Plato is Mandy’s and Mark’s Pack Leader.  Every time he goes into the kitchen he chats away and Mandy feeds him, bits of bacon, bits of chicken, bits of beef.  He thinks he’s in cat heaven, because Annie is a vegetarian and we don’t get treats like that.

I will let you know when we find our new permanent home and in the meantime we love living here!

You have decided to get a dog, now what?

31 Oct

You have sat down as a family and decided why you want a dog and what type of energy your dog should have in order to suit your family.

The next step is to sit down as a family and decide on the rules, boundaries and limitations that you will have for the new dog. This is something you must all agree on, otherwise you will cause the new addition to your family to become confused.

Family Dog

Family Dog (Photo credit: Richard Elzey – Flickr)

But sometimes things don’t go according to plan. One situation that can occur, is that one family member will come home one day with a dog. Whether by choice, or because it had been abandoned and they felt sorry for it. The problem with this is that more often than not it ends up becoming Mum’s responsibility. I am sure you would’ve heard stories like this before.

But what happens if Mum did not want a dog?

This could be disastrous for not only the family but for the dog as well.  Mum will take care of it, as you know she will. But if this isn’t a pleasure for her, the dog will feel it and he will never feel safe with her. Mum’s energy could be resentful, angry, or just plain resignation.  none of these energies are pack leader energy and your dog will recognise this.  The dog will never willingly follow her instructions, and this will be a point of contention not only for the prime care giver, but for the whole family. In this situation, establishing rules and boundaries becomes even more important.

What to do if you bring a dog home out of the blue

If you do bring home a dog out of the blue, the smart move is to engage the whole family to take responsibility for the dog, there is a saying,  “If Mum’s happy, the family’s happy”.

This means that you need to decide on rules and boundaries for your dog regardless of whether you planned to get him, or it occurred out of the blue.

First of all, you need to decide what is appropriate for your family

  • Do you allow the dog to sleep on the beds?
  • If the dog isn’t allowed to sleep in the beds where will he sleep?
  • Do you all share responsibility for walking the dog?
  • Does the whole family take turns in feeding your dog? Or would you prefer to have one person be responsible for this?
  • Maybe you have a small dog and want him to sit on your knee. But don’t want him to think he ‘owns’ the couch? You need to make sure your dog understands that it isn’t his right to be on the couch, and that he can only come up when invited.
  • When your dog is new to the family who will take responsibility for toilet training?

These are just some examples of the rules you will need to consider when introducing a new dog to your family.

In addition to deciding on the rules, you need to consistently enforce them. There will of course be times when these rules boundaries and limitations will not be enforced for whatever reasons. The key to this, once again is your energy.  As long as you are able to maintain Pack Leader energy your dog will not question the change in plan, nor will it try take advantage of it. When the whole family relates to your dog from this energy perspective your dog will always trust and respect you.

When the whole family become your dog’s Pack Leader your dog will show you a more calm respectful, trusting energy. In addition to this, from working as a team the family will find a new way to connect with each other.

And these are only some of the rewards that can come as a result of having a dog in your family.

How to choose the right Dog for your family

25 Oct

When choosing a Dog the first question you must ask yourself is:

Why do I want a dog?

  • Do you want a dog that can train with you and go on runs?
  • Do you want a dog for companionship?
  • Do you want a dog to be a playmate for your kids?
  • Do you want a dog because you like the look of that particular breed?
  • Do you want a dog to give your love to?
  • Do you want a guard dog?

These are just a few reasons as to why you may want to have a dog in your life.

Most of us will choose a dog to fulfill a need in ourselves and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you want to have a dog that fits in with you and your family’s needs you must put the dogs needs before your own. This is to give yourself the best chance of having a happy relationship between you and your dog.

Are you a person or family that has high energy? Love being out and about? Love walking, running, playing sports and riding bikes? If you’re happy to have your dog come on runs twice a day, then you’ll want a dog that has high energy. Having a dog that has medium to low energy levels will not contribute to your family in the way you would like.  You will want to go run/ play and he just hasn’t got the energy to keep up with you.  You will become disappointed with a medium to low energy dog in your family.

Likewise, if you are a family that love hanging out on the couch and going for an easy walk once a day, having a high energy dog in your family will drive you insane. They will get up to mischief, become destructive, chew your shoes, walls…you get the picture.  If this high energy dog’s needs are not being met, frustration will be the only outcome for you and for your dog. Not the reason you chose to have a dog in the family.

So ask yourself the important questions:

Good Manners when walking your Dog: Part 3

16 Oct

How to spot a reactive dog owner

When out walking your dog it is very easy to spot a reactive dog owner. It is also very easy to become one.

 First lets look at reactive dog owners:

Reactive dog owners usually have their dogs on a tight leash, or their dogs may be walking in front pulling on their leash.  They may

A German Shepherd Dog.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

cross the road, or disappear up someone’s driveway, in order to avoid contact with you. I am sure there are other actions taken, but these are the obvious ones. The common denominator with all these actions is tension.

It is also very easy for a competent Pack Leader to become a reactive dog owner. If you really want to be a consistent Pack Leader, for your dogs wellbeing. You must have mastery of your own thoughts and feelings.

It doesn’t take much to lose focus on your walks.   You only need to think “oh how am I going to find the money to pay that bill”. Your body responds to that fearful thought and  instantly your dog will be pulling on his leash. Your dog is telling you, you are no longer in Pack Leader energy. You have, by this thought become a reactive dog owner, with a reactive dog on the end of the leash.

This does not mean you can’t be Pack Leader until tomorrow’s walk, or that all is lost on this walk.

You can focus on your thoughts. Bring your attention to positive things and feel very good and happy with yourself.

Give your dog a correction. This may be a small tug on his leash to the side or by simply telling him to heel. This distracts your dog from his reactive energy and he comes once again in contact with your Pack Leader energy. He is able to become calm submissive, and  your walk continues as it should.

Dogs live in the present and having our wonderful dogs remind us when we are not, is a wonderful thing.

Good Manners when walking your Dog: Part 2

11 Oct

In part 1, we learnt that a dog’s language is energy, how you feel is what they react to. If you are calm assertive, their behavior will be calm submissive. If you are anxious, they will feel anxious and their behavior could become unpredictable and/or aggressive.

English: Dog walking in West Park

Dogs need leadership to feel safe, when they feel safe they will be calm, when they are calm and have leadership, we will be safe.  It is our job to ensure our dogs feel safe with us. When they feel safe they will respect you and love you. They know exactly where they stand with you when you are the Pack Leader, only then will they follow you.

Our dogs will love us but they will not respect or trust us if we do not give them clear leadership.

Dogs are like children, they  need to know the rules, boundaries and limitations.  That’s why as a reactive owner you must master your own energy, in order to have your reactive dog respect your directions.

The energy you express is communicated to your dog. What energy you are in, will determine what energy your dog is in. Pack Leader energy will result in calm submissive behavior. Your fearful, anxious energy will result in your dog wanting to take over as Pack Leader. The result being anxious owner – unstable dog.

Love to a dog is feeding him and taking him for a walk.  But the most loving thing you can do for your dog is to provide him with a clear understanding of his rules, boundaries and limitations by being a strong pack leader.

You can become a strong pack leader by examining the areas of your life where you are already a confident leader and replicating this energy. By doing this you will be able to exert the calm assertive energy necessary to keep your dog in a calm submissive state.

It’s not always easy to do this, but if you can master being assertive with your dog you will no longer have anything to worry about while walking your dog.  Your dog will be less reactive and you will be able to relax, enjoy yourselves and socialize with other owners and their dogs without fear.

Remember your dog is mirroring how you are feeling and with his help you can have mastery of your own energy.

By mastering your own thoughts, feelings and energy you will open up not only your dogs life, but also your own and it’s so worth it.

Good Manners when walking your Dog: Part 1

7 Oct

Written by: Annie Aubrey

For all of you out there with a “reactive Dog “ let me assure you, your dog is only reactive because you’re reactive.  However this isn’t an issue that can’t be fixed.  You need to start with what you’re thinking.

Your feelings follow what you’re thinking and your body will react to your feelings. This gives off energy. It is this energy that our dogs sense and react to.  It takes practice to constantly be aware of our thoughts, especially when walking our dogs, this is called being present.

Confident Pack Leaders, need to be able to recognize that reactive owners and their dogs,  need space to feel safe. But, anxious owners also need to realize when we call out “our dog is safe,” that they can let go of their anxiety and relax. If a dog perceives its owner to be anxious, the dog will attempt to take over as Pack Leader and may become aggressive to defend them.

Your dog needs a Pack Leader, being in an anxious state isn’t giving off Pack Leader energy, so your dog takes over.

We now have an anxious owner with an anxious dog, who is trying to be Pack Leader.

Your dog’s leadership is unstable. With unstable energy anything can happen and meeting another dog or another anxious owner and dog could lead to an unpleasant encounter.

Dogs being pack animals will only trust, respect and follow the guidance of a Pack Leader. Human Beings are the only pack animal that will follow unstable Pack Leaders.

It  then becomes the responsibility of confident Pack Leaders  to recognize and react accordingly to both “reactive” owners and their dogs.  If you see an anxious dog owner approaching then it is up to you, as Pack Leader to protect not only your own dog, but also the other owner and their dog.  You cannot control their behaviour, but you do have control over you and your dog’s behaviour. By being a strong Pack Leader your dog will trust your decision to walk on by.

As a confident Pack Leader it is your responsibility to recognize reactive owners and their dogs and give them the space they need. By simply doing this you will allow them to build up confidence with their dog. The result of this, is that as they gain confidence as dog owners, their anxiety may subside and they could become stronger Pack Leaders. This will result in  their dogs feeling the difference in their energy and becoming calmer.

Therefore we must have compassion and respect reactive owners and their dogs.  Do not judge them, if they ask you to call your dog, do not take it personally. You know your dog is safe, they don’t. Respect their wishes, call your dog and move on. By giving these people and their dogs this much needed space they get the opportunity to master their own energy.

Remember being a Pack Leader is a moment by moment thing and even the best Pack Leader can become a reactive owner within seconds if they have a negative or fearful thought. Achieving Mastery of ourselves is the aim.

Sam’s September Newsletter

30 Sep

Sam's Dog Rules - September Newsletter

Written by: Marj Mulholland

SAM SAYS:   “Wow, I have just been told that after the school holidays we are going to Mt Roskill Primary Junior School in Auckland.    I love going to schools and showing children how to be safe.   Did you know that ACC figures show that over 30 people a day got bitten by dogs last year – they didn’t need to if they understood us.”

We like being in a pack, we are dogs

We don’t hide under a leaf like frogs

We bowl each other over for a laugh

We don’t have long necks like  giraffe

We feel safe when we’re with our Pack Leader

I sure hope your owner is a reader ……. (show them this!)

“Oh my goodness, I am a Pack Leader….”

Now to be honest, I am not a “DOG” person.  When I was little we were forbidden to talk to, or play with Grandad’s dogs.  They were farm dogs, sheep dogs, working dogs.  They lived out in the kennels beside the barn and only listened to Grandad’s voice.  So to me, dogs lived on farms and were not to be played with or talked to.

Now, for two years I have been helping Annie launch this amazing programme SAM’S DOG RULES and I have sat in many classes and listened to the lesson.  When I see a dog I think what I have learnt:

DON’T TOUCH, DON’T TALK, DON’T LOOK –

Put on my Hero Suit and be the PACK LEADER.

Well, last week I was in Tauranga and I arrived at a house to be bowled over by a very excited fluffy dog (don’t ask me what breed – it looked a bit of a mix up to me).  Very cute, but jumping up and scratching my nice trousers.  It’s owner was very excited and wanted us to admire her gorgeous baby!!!!!  “Excuse me! Is this not a dog?” I thought,” Where is Annie?”

Well, sitting on the couch a while later and endeavouring to have a business discussion with the owner of the “leaping hair ball” it suddenly jumped up on my lap and tried to lick my face.

STATEMENT:

I drew myself up, said in a very firm voice “DOWN NOW, SIT, STAY” !

I should not be amazed, but I was.  In fact, between you and me, I was absolutely elated and thrilled.

RESULT:

Missee Fluff Ball slid off my knee, sat on the carpet at my feet and did not move for the next 20 minutes.  The owner was amazed.   You see, there were no boundaries for that gorgeous little dog, she was desperately saying “please tell me what to do, you should make me safe by being my Pack Leader”.    

You read in a previous post how I tried it with a Pit Bull that was VERY AGGRESSIVE and it worked.  I have done it with my children’s dogs and it works, so why not with little Missie Fluff Ball.

There was no need to shout, no need to back away, I just spoke it firmly and kindly, and WHAMMO success.  Everyone was relaxed and so was the dog.

Tell us your stories, try it, it works, and it is kindness to the dogs.

Marj.

Director Administration.  (Now self appointed Master Pack Leader!!)

SAM’S DOG RULES.

We are taking bookings now for 2013.
We already have five schools booking times.
Each session takes 35-40 minutes per class.
We are still looking for a Sponsor, so in the meantime
a donation from your school would be great.  Thanks.

We are what we think
We feel what we think
What we feel gets created.

Only human beings will follow unstable Pack leaders  –  animals will not.
If you are having trouble with your dogs or children look to yourself first,
understand what energy you are in and choose accordingly.
 

Go the “Packleaders”.   . Write to me at  sam@samsdogrules.com

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