The idea isn’t a new one, but creating a habit of verbalising the colour state for you or your dog seems to have struck a chord.
Gina is one of our amazing DogsBody Team (volunteer helpers) and has also been shadowing some of our behaviour consults as part of her degree course. Gina is also the guardian of Max, a sensitive and sometimes shouty Schnauzer. We’ve been working together over the past year, and he’s able to take part in outside classes now!
Here’s how Gina has been incorporating the colour question into her daily routine, and how it’s helped her partner too…
“I loved the Whats my colour idea for the dogs and am sure it will be a really easy thing for me to use for Max.
I also think it would be a great thing to use with people working with reactive dogs as I know personally how it makes the human feel.
Since doing the [canine] relaxation bodywork course I became more aware of my emotional state during training and walks and saw how that impacts on Max as a result.
My lightbulb moment/take away point from the course was during ground work and felt how I changed when walking slowly around the objects and talking in the good boy, really nice voice. I now use it for my benefit to relax without even taking into account what Max needs and then am able to be the support Max needs afterwards.
I will now add in the what's my colour for myself as well as thinking what colour is Max. Because even if Max is green, if I am red I would not be in a position to help him if something happened.
When we last did rehab and you said you were going to fetch a dog out from behind your van and I realised how I changed in anticipation even though Max was oblivious at that point so I knew I needed to work on that.
Having the colour check system would have made it easy for me to shout to you that I had gone to amber.
I have been trying it out on David this weekend and it worked really well to get him to think about what colour Max is and himself.
We had a scenario where Max was busy sniffing (very green) and David was clearly hyper vigilant scanning the area for dogs and I shouted what colour are you?
He replied red, we both laughed and did a “let’s go” [emergency escape tactic] and that was the potential problem avoided."
Thanks to Gina for her thoughts and experiences, we’ll have more blogs from our awesome DogsBody team members in the next few weeks too.
If you’re feeling inspired to do more with your dog this summer, check out our summer programme and grab your spaces before they vanish.
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