Relaxation Protocol Day 1 Session 2

One of the many theories about Maizey that was presented to me last week was based on the level of neediness she has for me.

She never wants to walk with anyone else, she needs to crawl into my arms and bury her head in my neck when she’s stressed, and on her worst days will even lay on my feet, moving as I move just to stay touching me. So the theory is that she feels insecure in her own skin. That she doesn’t trust her own decisions and needs to look to me to solve all her problems.

These tendencies could be from a genetic predisposition, I know her mom has a tendency to be anxious. It could also just be her personality, as a puppy she was always very clingy.

The proposed solution was to let Maizey work with other people. Let her walk with someone trustworthy, be handled at a class by someone else while I watch, basically give her some independence.

I can see aspects of this theory that could be true, and some parts that seem not as likely, but it did reveal something about me. I am a total control freak when it comes to my Princessface.

I mean off the charts, micro-managing, don’t even trust Mehusbandy or my mom to take her for a walk, train her or protect her, Control Freak. This level of protectiveness can not be good for any living being, let alone a little dog that is genetically inclined to anxiety in the first place.

So tonight we did an experiment with her RP. Mehusbandy ran through Day One with her while I was in the other room.

http://youtu.be/XgfS1qFpHd4

What I Noticed
As far as her lack of true relaxation she looks basically the same as yesterday. I’d say she’s still in work mode. No surprise there.

I thought she’d be much more worried about looking for me, but I only noticed two times she actually oriented in the direction I was. One at 1:13 and one at 3:40.

Yesterday she settled on one hip, while today she stayed in an upright down the whole time, but that could be the difference in how my criteria for mat work is to be settled on one hip.

A couple things were not related to relaxing, but very amusing to me. One was how she offers a head bob at :20 seconds. That is her offer when she’s going to do her “be sleepy” trick, laying her chin in the ground. The other is when Mehusbandy takes three steps the right and he ends up walking behind her a little bit and she stays on her mat. I was really proud of her!

And that is today’s 4legged lesson: sometimes the little things count a lot. This is not a new 4legged lesson, but it’s one of my favorites. There is no achievement too small to celebrate with your pups, appreciate them for what they’re good at. They don’t judge us on what we can’t do let’s afford them the same courtesy.

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  • sara

    Good girl Maizey!  I love how she wags her tail every time she anticipates that treat.

    • http://www.lessonsfrom4legs.com Katie

      Sara, this is exactly why I’m putting the video’s up, there was something about the tail wagging that I just couldn’t quite identify and you nailed it! Thanks! I saw a Leslie Mcdevitt video on youtube where she was teaching Snap(?) to relax without wagging his tail. I’ll have to work on that. Thanks Sara!