‘The Energy Leash’ is my latest made-up term to help describe energy as it relates to dogs and their parents. In all honesty, I stole the idea from a pretty famous author, Jon Gordon. He wrote a book called The Energy Bus. It’s a super easy read and I give it the Scott seal of approval. The book talks about the 10 rules for positive energy and how it applies to your life. So, without permission, I have patterned my own set of rules about energy you give to your dog through the leash.
Rule #1: Nonverbals never lie. Most of you think your dog is great an expert at giving kisses and looking sweet and innocent. They are also an expert in reading body language. We use words to express a lot of feelings and emotions whereas dogs communicate with their entire body. And these body reading signals translate to humans. Dogs can read our mood from our posture, stride, and face. They read our eyes, head, and sighs. And they do all of this the moment we walk in the door. That’s why many dogs comfort us when we’re sad and jump up and down when we’re happy. They read the energy you give.
Rule #2: Leaders Lead. Dogs thrive on structure. Just like humans, they are very routine oriented. If you are consistent and structured, your dog will follow your lead. That’s how dogs were bred over thousands of years. The really good dogs that tried to please are the ones that ultimately reproduced and passed along those genes. The trend continued until they became the only animal in the Kingdom in which we have a true bond. (Sorry, cat lovers.) If you do not lead and have structure in the dogs’ life they tend to make it themselves. In the dog training world this is known as dominance by default. It’s also called payday:). We will dive into this topic in another post, but know that how you present yourself to your dog matters.
Rule #3: Remember the Mind. Just because you take your dog on a 30 minute walk every day does not mean you have fulfilled their energy release requirements. So many owners only think of the physical when it comes to their pup’s energy, they don’t remember that the dog’s brain is a more effective tool for energy burning. Ever come home exhausted from work when all you did was sit at your desk? That’s because you were burning all your mental energy. Dogs that have to use their brain burn a lot more energy than dogs that just use their legs. A couple ways to do this are clicker training and structured walks. Give me a call to find out how to do these and a lot more (502-584-2200).
Rule #4: It’s the End of the World as We Know It. Rule 4 draws its inspiration from the 1987 song by R.E.M. Dogs live in the present. They aren’t worried that the lawn needs to be mowed, bills need to be paid, or the never-ending pile of laundry. They would feel fine even if the world were ending (given they were with their family). Some would call it blissful ignorance, but I see it differently. Dogs have the ability to remember a ton of information (i.e. the weak spot in the fence, who to give sad puppy dog eyes too, etc). So, given that they can remember things, they aren’t concerned with the squirrel they didn’t catch yesterday or the slobber-filled tennis ball that you threw away last week. They are happy just living in the moment. We could all learn something from our tail-wagging counterparts about living in the moment regardless of the past and no concern for the future.
Rule #5: Let the Dog Hair Power You Forward. Life is just better with a dog in it. #duh. And while myself and my fiancé Sarah can single-handedly keep the lint roller industry thriving, I really don’t mind the hair. Dog hair means dogs. Dogs mean positive energy. Positive energy can stick to me like molasses, or dog hair. Carry your dogs’ energy with you and I guarantee your outlook will be brighter.
So there you have it. My 5 rules for Energy Leashes. Next time you’re out walking the dog, try and remember that the energy you give off flows down the leash. And don’t forget about the energy your dog can give to you. There is an old joke that I didn’t think of and would never condone, but here it is: You put your dog and your wife in the trunk of your car and leave them there for 6 hours. Come back, open the trunk, which one is happy to see you? 🙂
Until next time dog lovers.