It seems like there are a million different ways to train your dog to stay off the sofa – so why does she still jump up there every time you’re not looking?
As an Animal Communicator, I work with people all the time who are frustrated and angry that the sofa zapper, the buzzer, the soda-can alarm didn’t work. What these people fail to realize is that, animals are not only smart – they’re sensitive! It’s honoring the sensitivity of animals that yields the best results in training.
Here are three simple things you can do to help your dog understand the rules of the sofa. These methods are tried and tested by me – and by my clients through my years of work as a pet psychic.
Send Signals that Actually Make Sense. Animals work with images all the time – in fact, they receive what we say not only as words (i.e. hearing you say, “Get off the couch!”) but also as pictures. This means it’s important that the picture you hold in your head matches the action you want your dog to perform. Many people don’t realize that, on an everyday basis, they are actually sabotaging themselves because what they say doesn’t match what they’re visualizing. For example, if someone says to you, “Don’t think about a pink elephant,” what do you do? You immediately think about pink elephants! The same is true for animals – if you say to a dog, “Get off the sofa!” what image do you hold in your head? You hold an image of a dog camped out on the sofa. You are, in fact, sending a very mixed signal to your dog – often without realizing it!
The easiest way to fix this is to change what you are saying to something positive such as, “Go lay down on your bed.” Visualize him walking to his bed and lying down. What you’ve is sent a complimentary message to him that makes sense. I guarantee you’ll get a better result.
Do Not Cheat! Dogs are attracted to energy that feels good – and they love it when their humans feel good. They’ll make every effort to spend time in the places where they’ve had positive-feeling energy and experiences with their human. If you allow your dog on the sofa for “special occasions” then your dog is going to want to revisit that “special occasion” energy as much as possible. Dogs don’t really care about special occasions – they care about what feels safe, secure and good. A special occasion for you feels safe to your dog – and only makes him want more of that energy. To fix this, first, stop with the cheating. Instead, spend time with your dog in those places where his laying out is sanctioned. Creating that feel-good energy in his spots will help him stop seeking it out in yours.
Keep Sending Your Message – Even When You’re Not Home. As we just talked about, animals receive images from us whenever we talk with them. This is an exciting concept! Now, let’s add something that may seem a little crazy to this. Animals can receive our messages, not only when we’re standing in front of them, but also when we’re on the other side of the world.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably beginning to at least open to the idea that animal intuition is real. And if so, do you think that that intuition only works with in a range of a few feet of the animal? Of course not! Energy can flow from any one place to any other, and the same applies to the intuition of animals.
So, let’s say you’re at work and you know that during the day, your dog often sits on the sofa gazing out the window. Instead of jumping into your car and driving all the way home to get him off the sofa, you can send the message long distance – via your energy. To do this just think about your dog – for instance, imagine watching him playing with his favorite ball or visualize yourself petting him. Next, you simply give him the proper message. You could say “Max, go lie down in the living room.” or “Go lie down in your bed.” The trick here is to follow the guidelines from Tip #1 so you don’t send a mixed message.
My clients tell me time and again that the real creature being trained here is the human! Our dogs already get it. Trust me, that once you get the hang how to get your message through, the sofa will become your happy place again.
Danielle MacKinnon is the author of, “Animal Lessons” (Llewellyn). Visit her online at www.daniellemackinnon.com.