Building a strong connection with our pets.
Our pets are often one of the most important parts of our lives. We remember our pets forever, especially when we have that one pet that bonds with us like none of the other ones do. Sometimes it’s just like they can read our minds, and they know exactly what we are thinking before we even think it.
Animals are more tuned into spirit and themselves then we understand (it’s hard to think that when your dog is drinking toilet water or eating a dead squirrel he found outside- but to him that stuff isn’t gross) Pets of all species are able to tune in more to spirit, and can often times communicate amongst each other without verbally speaking.
Understanding how animals communicate.
If you have ever had a dog look at you and you feel like he is saying something- then you know exactly what this link of communication is, and how it works. Often times this “stare” will make you feel uncomfortable, like they are staring right into your souls. Often times we misunderstand a bond with our pets, and mean that this means the animal must be submissive to us. It’s important to understand that respect and submissive behaviors can and should be considered different from each other; and respect doesn’t need to be paired with submissive traits to be earned.
But respect comes from working on that bond with our animals, no matter the species. Spending time with them, understanding their personalities and not trying to change those personalities. Understanding those traits so you can help make your pets life the best life they can be- while allowing them to be themselves.
Destroying your house is not a personality trait but being goofy and liking to roll in fresh cut grass, carry 8ft branches around the yard and howling with excitement every time they see a UPS guy, that is their personality.
Everyone who visits my house, always laughs at how personable our animals are. I used to be stumped by this, and wonder “What is it about me that attracts all these weird animals?” And I made the realization that I allow them to just be themselves, without trying to change who they are, beat them into submission or make them be something they aren’t. I allow them to be how they are intended to be. Unique and different!
But the moment they disrespect me, that is when I step in and discipline them. I don’t disrespect them, they don’t disrespect me- it’s simple. I don’t chain them up for hours on end and not give them attention. I don’t abuse them, (Which giving lack of training is abuse in a way) and I don’t starve them. I provide them food, shelter and a guiding hand to make them respectful animals in society.
My dogs don’t jump on you, and my cat doesn’t pee on my furniture. My horses don’t run you over, and they don’t kick or bit you. Respect has to be given before it can be earned, and from the very beginning I respected them for what they are, and allowed them to be themselves, without training the unique abilities out of them.
So what do you do if you get your dog from a shelter once he is older? How do you let him be himself, and forge this connection with him?
The important note is you start with respect. You start with listening to him, listening to his body language, communicating with him- especially talking to them if you don’t feel comfortable with communicating with a feel or “telepathically”.
Speak towards your dog like you would like to be talked to, and work on building that relationship with your pet. A relationship isn’t built in silence, and you don’t see any old cowboy who doesn’t talk to his horse or his dog. It’s healthy and it helps keep that relationship fresh and alive.
Three tips towards strengthening your relationship with your animals:
Listen to what they have to say, and take it into consideration. If your dog hates going on walks down by the river, go on walks through the woods instead. If your cat hates to be snuggled, stop trying to snuggle him. Listen to their queues and if it’s not disrespectful, let them be. (The exception to this rule is when they are being disrespectful to you, via going potty where they aren’t supposed to, tearing up garbage or destroying stuff that isn’t theirs)
Spend quality time together
There is no relationship in the world that has been built on no time spent together. You need to spend time getting to truly know your pet, and understand what they love and what they hate. Think about how much time you spent with your first pet as a child, and how close you were with that pet. Now think about how much time you truly spend playing or socializing with your pet now. Is it more? Less? The same? What differences do you notice? Can you tell if your pet is a sociable animal, or if they just hate everyone and want to be left alone? What can you tell about your pet, and how long did it take to get to that point?
Communicate with your pet
Whether verbal, physical or non verbal communication, you can’t have a relationship without information being sent and received. Work on teaching your pet something new, or freshening up on stuff they already know. Talk to your pet throughout the day. When I am starting a new colt, I often times sing a relaxing song, or constantly mutter something peaceful to keep that communication open, and their mind on me. This works for all animals you work with, and really truly helps. If you feel like you can communicate effectively with non verbal methods, then by all means do so! There are no real rules here, as long as you feel as though you are sending the messages to your animals and they are being received, then everything is as it should be.
Communication with our pets is the best way to build a relationship that we want with our animals. Understanding their personality traits and allowing them to be themselves while receiving and giving respect is key to a strong bond; and will carry over to all aspects of our lives.