When you think of a behavior your pet is exhibiting ..
You might say:
1. "My cat is peeing on the floor because he is mad at me."
2. "My dog is just protective of the family."
And so-on and so-forth.
But, what if we shift our thinking?
What if we realize, this isn't about us humans... But instead, it's about the pet.
Their behavior likely isn't about YOU.
They are experiencing stress.
They are having a hard time.
They are trying to cope.
When we change the perspective of how we think, and the excuses or reasoning we tell ourselves about what our pets do and why.. Something amazing happens.
We can begin to change things. Including how we support the emotional state of the animal, which leads to a change in the behavior itself!
Let's re-think the above scenarios:
1. The cat is upset and anxious when left alone... Elimination can happen due to fear, stress and anxiety.
2. The dog is fearful and being reactive to a scary stimulus. He is unsure of the stranger and is in 'fight or flight' mode... He may feel cornered and afraid, therefore barks and acts 'protective.'
Now that we have acknowledged the emotion and trigger from the pet's point of view... We can make the necessary changes to modify the behavior/ reaction.
Behaviors serve the needs of an individual who is exhibiting the behavior, and it indeed provides a function whether positive or negative.
Case and point:
Reactivity makes the scary threat go away.
By acknowledging the behavior as an emotion in the animal, and not a hatred towards humans.. we can connect with their state of mind and alter the patterns in reactivity.
We can meet and accommodate our pet's needs, and provide them a more appropriate reaction to the stressor.
Creating true, and lasting results!
So you and your pet can Have Happy Trails!
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