Elsa listening intently to what I am saying. She is an amazing listener.
"Let Mommy see," I tell Elsa as she steps aside for me to have a look. She'd been doing her best to tell me that there was something under my night table she needed. After my first look, I found nothing and got to my feet. Once again she assumed her position; with her front legs stretched out as far as she could, trying to reach whatever it was she thought was under there. Looking up to me to see if I was getting the message, she waited. "Let Mommy see," I said again and gave it another look. "Ahhhhhh, here it is," I declared as she lit up; she knew I'd found what she was looking for. I pulled out the treat that had fallen behind the leg of the table and delivered it to the finder. Finders, keepers as they say.
Standing stiff at the office window; Elsa's tail starts to move like a flag in a gentle wind. "Let me see," I tell her and she moves over for me to have a look see. Ahhhh, a cat again. "It's just a cat, we don't care about cats out there," I tell her and walk away. She looks over her shoulder as if to say "really Mom? It's a cat." With my calm demeanor she decides to watch the cat outside in silence. Nice.
Do you communicate with your dog? Our dogs are master body language communicators but when dealing with us they often have to rely on our verbal communication for guidance. The more words or phrases that you teach your dog, the better you can speak and be heard. Luke has always been a nervous type; not skittish but nervous in the worry sort of way. If I have something in my hand and call to him; he will fret about what I'm going to do. Fear of the unknown can be very powerful. Being that I often have to do something to him I started using "let Momma see," to calm him. Immediately he relaxes because he knows that I want to check something on him and he trusts me immensely. The trust that I have created over the years ends all the worry for him.
Both Luke and Elsa decided one morning that there must be a monster coming into our yard as they heard a tree trimmer in the yard behind ours; loudly munching trees down. They set up quite a display to scare it away and warned of impending doom until I showed up. I immediately told them "let me see," and they quieted for a moment. They watched with intense anticipation; waiting for the final word about the monster's progress. "It's nothing, we don't care about that," I told them in a very calm and nonchalant manner. One last warning from Luke and they both happily followed me into the house.
Taking the step to be the one, the leader who is in charge is so very important. Not only does it take responsibility off of your dogs; who can spin out of control if left in charge. A small phrase like "let me see," can have a huge impact if associated properly. After all, are we not here to scare away the monsters? Reach the unreachable toy? Or see who is behind the door when the doorbell rings? We sure are.
I often check the front door when Elsa thinks that there is a stranger behind it. Doing this often when I know that no one is there really helps to diffuse the door. Someone may have dropped a flyer off so she alarm barks that there is someone at the door. I will very calmly go to the door and say "let me see." She backs up ever so slightly; allowing me room to open the door and check. "Nothing, no one," I tell her and show her that there is no one out there. I checked, I took control and I told her ahead of time that I would be there for her so she does not have to be in charge. I am in charge; I am here for both Luke and Elsa and they know that.