In our previous blogs, we talked about the “Owner’s responsibility”, the “Health of the pet”, the “Behavior to have in public”, “Public transportation” and the “Pet’s preparation” before going into a public space. Now Clanimal offers you a “method of animal introduction” used for 4 years already and inspired by basic animal psychology (canine): THE “ZONE”
#1 KEEP YOUR PET’S AND YOUR “ZONE” UNDER CONTROL
It means that you have to draw a 3-feet imaginary circular “zone” around you, and that is the space occupied by you and your pet (your intimate zone). Don’t let anyone, human or animal; enter that zone, unless they’ve been invited. (By the way, your pet walks beside you, not 40 feet ahead of you! See the section “Training” on that matter);
From the day your pet was born, and the several days after that, could only count on its sense of smell. So, it’s very instinctive of it to trust its sense of smell first. However, the owner, when choosing the moment of the encounter sends two messages to the pet:
- The pet understands that the owners decides when and with who are the encounters made;
- That if the pet is excited, then there is no encounter. Because 1), dog excited= risks of problems (the more it’s excited the more the risks are high); and
- A quiet pet makes the other pet quiet, as well as the human!
You respect people’s environment (and pets’ too), for example, if a person is afraid of animals, don’t impose yours so that you won’t torment them by letting your pet go and “smell” them (e.g. see “What is a responsible owner”)
#2 DON’T LET PEOPLE APPROACH SUDDENLY
You don’t like it when somebody just “jumps” on you? Well, same thing for a pet! It will probably see that as an act of aggression or an invitation to play. However, if it doesn’t want to play… well, you’ve guessed!
Putting a hand forward and presenting it to the pet… NO = act of aggression for the pet (as a matter of fact, people combine putting the hand forward and walking towards the pet). Test: try to find who’s responsible for it and what is the explanation behind all that… Good luck (Myth 1 Reality 0). If the pet wants to smell you, it will, so your hand won’t make any difference unless of course… see above!
If the pet doesn’t take an hour to smell you, it’s not that it hates you. Normally, it only takes a few seconds (as long as you follow carefully the next step – next blog!) and now…
#3 KEEP UP WITH STEPS 1 AND 2 NO MATTER WHAT!
First of all, repeat like a mantra “My Pet, My Rules”. You are its owner and your pet will sense it. So, if you show it “weakness” in
your leadership, your pet will start to be anxious. The lack of supervising (by the leader) creates anxiety and other things that come with it!
The more you are going to follow these principles, the more you are going to feel at ease! And the more you feel at ease, the more your pet will feel your confidence (leadership) and will feel safe (protected)… and the more you feel calm (confident and alert), the more your pet will feel calm!
Several specialists apply this healthy way of drawing closer to a pet that respects the natural psychology of the animal amongst other things, which means that there’ll always be room for common sense… After all, isn’t nature following that logic! (1)
Now go and practice these 3 instructions and more importantly, have fun with your pet until the next blog… THE APPROACH, and keep writing to me at firstname.lastname@example.org;
« the Guy » @ Clanimal.com
*Le Chien, un loup civilisé, Evelyne Teroni and Jennifer Cattet, Le jour éditeur, 2004;
*Dog Bible « The definitive source for all things dogs », Edited By Kristin Mehus-Roe, BowTie Press, 2005, page 125;
*« Does your dog really want to be petted », Elleen and dogs, What my dogs teach me, posted August 29, 2012