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Discover 12 simple steps to improving your pet's well-being.
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Your Dog’s Behavior

your-dogs-behavior
As you know we're all about the well-being of your pet and how helping him eat naturally goes a long way to helping him thrive, but this is just one of the fundamentals. To truly allow your dog to confidently grow his/her engaging personality we need to understand that like humans, they have emotional needs. 

As an expert in both dog and wolf behaviour we've invited the lovely Dr Isla Fishburn to take us through some of the basic steps we can do on a daily basis, to help the well-being of your dog.

If you're not familiar with Dr Isla Fishburn, she has great experience of working with wolves, wolf hybrids and domestic dogs for several years and has a degree in Zoology and Doctorate in Conservation Biology. Trained in Zoopharmacognosy, canine shiatsu and energy medicine, as a canine wellness practitioner, Isla is passionate about working with wild canids and bridging the gap between these amazing animals and people. 

It was her time spent with captive wolf communities that swayed Isla to further develop her career with canines focusing on energy systems, emotions and taking a wellness approach to teaching and learning, the human-animal bond, the mind-body connection and empowering the lives of others. To find out more click here.


Over to you Dr Isla…

Dr Isla: Thanks. 

When looking at behaviour the first thing to understand is that the wellness of your dog is dependent on you understanding that your dog is an individual, a sentient being that is constantly observing, listening, learning and, most importantly, feeling. Like people, dogs have mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs that must be met to ensure the dog has complete health and well-being.

The emotional state your dog is feeling is key to improving his/her behaviour. You need to learn how to influence these emotional states in your dog that make them feel safe, calm and protected so that your dog will be on the right path to feeling loved, empowered and transformed. Emotions are simply changes in energy state that have a regulatory role in keeping the animal safe and alive. 

Anything and everything that a dog sees, hears, smells, touches or tastes is stored as an experience within the body. This is why your dog's behaviour will not miraculously alter overnight. There are no quick fixes if your dog requires support in his/her behavioural responses. Attempting to do so often results in other behavioural issues, frustration and affects the channels of communication between your dog and you. 

Each dog is different and depending on the severity of each case, there is no guaranteed time limit to when your dog will change his/her behaviour. However, your continued practice over time is necessary, and you will see progressive changes, which will motivate you to transform your dog. 

The one thing that is vitally important in all this is that you need to be wholly committed and dedicated in following the steps needed for you to communicate with your dog and understand his/her behaviour; your dog will become confident and calm about listening to you giving direction and guidance.


Behaviour in dogs

The first step in behaviour change is you need to understand that your dog is an energy system as much as s/he is a physical system. Disturbances within the energy system begin to have an effect on the dog's whole body from emotional states to physical issues. Canine wellness is about the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health of your dog. To maintain balance in your dog as a WHOLE organism, we have to observe and analyse several aspects of your dog's life and what we need to consider on a daily basis to optimise the health and longevity in our dogs.

Today we're going to focus on some of the main areas where you can help your dog daily to strength her/his bond with you.


Learning

It's important that your dog has experiences that allow for him/her to learn clearly. No animal can learn when they are stressed and this can lead to fears, avoidance, inability to feel confident in new situations and feed fearful associations with stimuli. The ability for your dog to learn clearly will allow your dog's biochemistry to process information whilst relaxed, calm and in a neutral or positive state. This will support your dog's emotional, physical, mental and spiritual wellness because s/he is learning without being under pressure or stressed and this will allow your dog to develop confidence and prevent imbalances.


Diet and Digestion

There is so much discussion today about what do we feed our dogs to allow for complete wellness. Does what we feed our dog really matter? For me the answer is quite simple – yes! When we understand complete wellness, we have to look at all the factors that can create disturbance within a living system. 

Food is just one factor that can either promote complete wellness or create disharmony in the body. I show my clients how to test for food so that they can learn what their dog's body needs. One thing is for certain though, any living body, whether that be you, your dog, a horse, bear or lion needs to have live food in order to sustain health. I don't mean we should all be running around chasing and eating live food. What I mean is that the food that goes in to the body must be of a source that feeds the body and all of its systems.

Your dog is made up of chemical building blocks and proteins. Every day thousands of chemical reactions are taking place within your dog's body. For chemical processes to occur effectively, efficiently and correctly your dog's body requires the right fuel (i.e. food) to sustain health. The best fuel comes from resources that are fresh, unprocessed and full of life to support the life of your dog.

You see, just like you, your dog has an ancestral digestive ecosystem. Feeding this ecosystem correctly is imperative for the functioning of your dog's blood, organs, brain, growth and systems, including the immune system. Your dog has an ancient digestive system that to this day requires to be fed on ancient food. Pure food. Wholesome food. Unprocessed food. There are many studies that show us the health consequences of eating an unnatural and processed diet in humans – obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's, arthritis, IBS, allergies, dermatitis etc. The same applies to our dogs.


Foraging

Dogs are hunters, they are scavengers and they naturally need to seek and search. One natural route of seeking and searching that I enjoy offering my dogs is the ability to naturally forage. Whilst my dogs are given a meal in their bowl, I also offer them many opportunities to search for additional food. I call this self foraging. 

Your dog's body knows what it needs and may vary in things it chooses to forage. Allowing your dog to forage is not only a great way of tapping in to your dog's natural biology but also provides opportunities for rest; seeking itself is mentally exhausting and, after eating, your dog will want to rest whilst s/he digests food. Both of these support your dog's wellness.

Allowing your dog to self-forage can take place in the home, in the garden or when out exploring with your dog. At home I will often scatter food items around the house. This may include a collection of nuts (e.g. organic brazil, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews and pistachios) along with some pieces of organic apple and plums. My dogs will forage around the home and select what they want to eat. The variation is rather remarkable. For example, some days one of my dogs may choose to eat lots of almonds and not so much the fruit or other nuts. Then, on other days, the same dog will want the apple and hazelnuts but show no interest in the other items.

Self-foraging in the garden may include scattering food items from your dog's treat cupboard outside and allowing your dog to search for these. When out with you dog exploring this may also occur seasonally. For example, in the Autumn, many dogs will naturally search for blackberries. Your dog is not stupid. Blackberries are a seasonal fruit and so are not available all year round. If your dog's body is telling itself that it needs blackberries then you will see your dog search for these and eat them. There will be plenty of healing benefits in this fruit, or may even provide as a bit of an energy booster if your dog has been on a long walk. You may even allow your dog to forage for mice, eat grass (this is a very natural thing but can be foraged for several reasons), seek water for hydration or consume a prey animal that has been killed from being hit by a car, for example.


Seeking

Seeking is a primal emotion. This means it is something that your dog's body naturally enjoys doing and seeks (no pun intended!). It can even improve your dog's wellness as you provide him/her with positive experiences and ample chances for your dog to search, explore, sniff and learn.

We all know the power of a dog's nose. When a dog is born, s/he is unable to see, hear or smell for the first couple of weeks. Your dog relies on the sensations and energy being emitted from its mother and surrounding environment (which is why it is so very important that a pup is exposed to peaceful and relaxed energy when born). At around two weeks of age, scent/smell is the first sense in your dog that develops. So, your dog can smell and identify scent but is yet unable to see or hear. To me, this shows just how important scent is for your dog because it is the first of several senses to develop. If this wasn't so important than why would nature design for this sense to be the first to develop?

Due to the sheer number of receptors of your dog's nose (that vary from 125 million to 300 million depending on breed; with humans only having 5 million), your dog can take in a lot of information from scent alone. This information goes straight to the dog's brain, which is then processed and an action is then activated. As you can imagine, processing information is quite a taxing job for the brain (which is a good thing) as it is mentally engaging. Allowing your dog to seek, sniff and learn will not only tap in to your dog's natural desire to do this, but it will allow your dog to want periods of rest, sleep and recuperation.

Seeking is a wonderful opportunity we can offer our dog. It allows for your dog to learn, build confidence and focus on something else when distractions or uncertainties are nearby but also because, as a primal emotion, it's a need that your dog naturally has to do; for health, wellness and balance.


Movement and Play

Movement is important for your dog's wellness. Having physical exercise, play and physical freedom is important and liberating for any animal. Yet, movement goes much deeper than the physical ability for your dog to move.
First of all, movement must include the movements and processes that are going on within your dog at a cellular level. As your dog is an energy system we need to learn how we recognise the movement of energy within your dog – is energy too faint and needs to be enhanced; is energy too elevated and needs to be sedated; is energy too stagnant and needs to be dissipated? Even when your dog is sound asleep, the energy within him/her is in constant motion. 

Movement for me also includes breath. There are lots of studies that show how breathing can influence tension and emotions. We often forget to breath when we are tense or our breathing pattern changes when we become stressed. Spending time to do rhythmic breathing with your dog is important for him/her as it influences the nervous system, providing relaxation and the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows for growth, repair, maintenance and health. 

Coupled with breath is also touch. When it comes to complete wellness I like to work with the dog's senses; sound, taste, smell, sight and touch. Touch itself is very healing and it can even influence the production of Oxytocin in the body. Our dogs love the sensation of touch as a healing and supportive tool for wellness. We can also "hold" a dog whilst focusing on our breathing so that our dog(s) and we begin to breath in rhythm and provide relaxation. 

On a more physical level, I would also consider movement to include the amount of freedom a dog is given. Is a dog left in a house or small garden all day compared to going out on a hike with his/her pet parents? Having physical freedom is liberating for any animal. Of course, this also includes play. Play is important for any dog and many animals will play for the sake of playing. This is true for our dogs, but sometimes play can be a form of communication between two or more dogs. Regardless, a dog that does not play or is denied play can be damaging to his/her wellness. 

Finally, from a structural level, I also consider how a dog is moving and how this may impact his/her wellness – can we identify any areas that are already physically impaired or restrained. For example, is a dog lame, have conformation and/or compensation issues, have skeletal issues such as arthritis. If so, what therapies can we offer the dog to support his/her wellness and improve or support any physical disability the dog may have.


Qi

Is an important aspect in your dog's wellness. Qi should be able to move freely throughout the body to achieve balance. Your dog's body will thrive when things are in balance, also known as homeostasis. When physical, mental and emotional stressors exceed the body's ability to cope, imbalances begin. Your dog's body may have to constantly try to catch up and this will deplete your dog's resources, energy and balance. Of course, if your dog is not having his/her nutritional needs met, then this can speed up any imbalances that may arise.


Sense of Peace

To optimise your dog's wellness, your dog's WHOLE body needs to feel a sense of peace, and it's a vital part of homeostatic regulation. You dog's cells are affected by every experience your dog has as well as creating an effect within the body. 

These dog's cells seek homeostatic regulation and are constantly striving to feel or return to a sense of peace. A sense of peace provides balance, healing and rest. As such, cells are seeking one sensation – peace, happiness and joy. These biochemical sensations tell these cells (and the whole body) that everything is safe and well.

If your dog has physical, mental or emotional issues and imbalances, then your dog is more likely to not be feeling a sense of peace at a cellular level. Or, certainly, their body has to work harder to achieve this homeostatic regulation. It may only be a matter of time where you will begin to see further imbalances in your dog unless we make sure your dog's cells are exposed to peace…and lots of it.

So, how can we ground the mind and cellular energy of our dogs? One way we can achieve this is by not moving at all, in the sense of becoming emotionally still. All thoughts, all worries, all movement stops and this allows for the cells to be surrounded in stillness, peace and tranquillity.

An easy and fun way to do this is to meditate with your dog. Meditation is brilliant for grounding the mind and providing an opportunity for your dog and his/her cells to feel peace – that very vital sensation for wellness.

I will regularly meditate with my dogs and I find the experience liberating and connecting to both nature as well as my dogs. Meditation allows for breathing to become deeper and slower, telling the body that it is and can be in a relaxed state. Remember, this is what our cells are seeking for homeostatic regulation, so providing this as part of your dog's routine will certainly be supporting your dog's wellness and ability to remain or achieve balance.

It is worth noting here that we all made up of energy. Our bodies produce and generate energy as a result of chemical and electrical processes that occur at a cellular level. This energy can become unstable, erratic, stagnant or depleted due to physical, emotional, dietary or spiritual imbalances. By using techniques, such as meditation (but there are others), we work on bringing the dog's body back in to alignment with its natural self and allow for the energy to flow correctly and naturally.

There are endless ways you can help your dog's behaviour. You can easily start today by allowing your dog opportunities to seek, forage and search, but allow this you must.

It's really simple to achieve, if your dog wants to stop in the street and have a good, long sniff of something then let him/her. By denying your dog opportunities to do what is only natural and needed you are already affecting your dog's freedom, movement, flow of Qi, ability to think, ability to have choices and furthering the possibility for imbalances in your dog's wellness and behaviour to occur.
Wow Thank you Dr Isla, some brilliant basic recommendations that I know I've never really considered when it comes to how these things may affect my dog's behaviour. One of your recommendations I'm excited about trying is the QI.

NOW, we'd love to hear your comments. TELL US which one you're going to start doing more of today. Feel free to share this with people you think will love it. 


Natural lifestyle, naturally health, naturally thriving!!

Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website and articles are based on the opinions of the people at Authentica. The information contained within is not intended to replace that of your qualified vets or intended as medical advice. We are sharing knowledge and information but in no way should this pertain you from seeking proper professional medical/veterinary advice. We encourage you to do your own research and make your own decisions on your pet's health in conjunction with your vet. Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of information. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors. Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements and those of your pet. If you become aware of any material on the website that you believe infringes your or any other person's copyright, please report this by email to info@authenticapets.com so we can immediately rectify the issue.

Prebióticos y Probióticos - Parte 1
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Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website and articles are based on the opinions of the people at Authentica. The information contained within is not intended to replace that of your qualified vets or intended as medical advice. We are sharing knowledge and information but in no way should this pertain you from seeking proper professional medical/veterinary advice. We encourage you to do your own research and make your own decisions on your pet's health in conjunction with your vet. Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy of information. You acknowledge that such information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors. Your use of any information or materials on this website is entirely at your own risk, for which we shall not be liable. It shall be your own responsibility to ensure that any products, services or information available through this website meet your specific requirements and those of your pet. If you become aware of any material on the website that you believe infringes your or any other person's copyright, please report this by email to info@authenticapets.com so we can immediately rectify the issue.

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