Friday, March 2, 2012

Communicating with Dogs - Series 6

So, here's another interesting post dog lovers. And I am sure this is again going to help you a lot. Once of our readers - Marlene had mailed us her problem in communicating with her dog. Honestly speaking I was honored to find the mail of  Marlene and Paul popping up in my inbox a few days back. I am more honored because this email was for Di Van the animal communicator, my friend who has chosen this dog blog to share her huge knowledge on animal communication in series. I am lucky that both Marlene and Di allowed me to publish the question and answer here in this blog. I hope that this will surely benefit you to the fullest swing.

Thank you Marlene and Paul and Di...

Question emailed by Marlene and Paul was: 

Dear Di
I’ve been actively trying to communicate with my dog over the past month or two. Sometimes I understand what she ‘says’ to me, but I’m not sure whether I understand it from her physical behaviour or otherwise. Also, she is very protective of me and I usually find it difficult to have ANY friends over and she did managed to bite one friend, although she did not break the skin. I always tell people not to touch her and just ignore her whenever she comes towards them, just keep walking. – no touch, no talk, no eye contact, but this friend’s ears were on leave that day and she tried to hug Lulu. I was very upset with Lulu (and my friend as well). Then I read about ‘reading’ their minds. After that, I would tell her at the same time every day for about 2 weeks, that she will not attack any of the friends we have over at out house - ever. Just smiles and kisses.

Now  please tell me if this is only wishful thinking? She seems to be calmer around new people, but still would not let them touch her. She wants to play, but does not know how to let them love her. For instance, she will look very friendly, tail and body wagging, smiling and sniffing and even put her nose in the person’s hand, but if they move to stroke her, she strikes back with lots of noise. Sometimes she will even bring a toy, and then gets all confused if the person actually wants to through the toy.

Lulu is a 3year old, spayed Labrador/German Shepard mix whom had a hip operation at 8months (I think she expect people will hurt her if they touch her?). Any suggestions please? I’ve attached a photo J. Overall she is 90% obedient, but is aggressive towards other dogs as well and had killed in the past (a stray bunny that came into our yard and rats). We live in Benoni, Gauteng and often go for walks at the Homestead Dam – she LOVES to swim in the dam, but not in our pool, unless I get in with her (brrrr for the coming winter!).


Answer emailed by Di

Dear Marlene, congratulations on starting to communicate with Lulu. You might find it a little easier if you are able to take 5 - 10 mins out of your day to find a quiet spot to meditate. This helps to quieten your mind. But the main point with animal communication is to trust your instinct and do not doubt what you hear in your mind or that feeling you get. It is not an exact science but when you have an animal in need like Lulu it can be so rewarding to be able to listen to her fears and help her overcome them.

I have attached 3 pages of a technique which I think might help Lulu. EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique (also called tapping) has been around for about 35 years and is probably the most under rated psychological aid you will ever come across. If you want to explore it further in its use for people I would suggest looking up Rod Sherwin who is an EFT practitioner in Melbourne, Australia. He has a lot of videos on the internet and I have met him and been to one of his lectures. EFT is something I use regularly on myself, our dog and the wild captives (particularly leopards) that I deal with. You might want to use it for aggression on Lulu, not being able to trust and also for fear of people.

I did take the liberty of chatting to Lulu (hope you don't mind) and she had the following to say. You have to always remember that what an animal tells you might not necessarily be correct or the truth but this is the situation as to how they see it.

Lulu says she loves her Mom, she is a kind person who wants to help her.

She says she loves her walks and water. When I asked about the dam she swims in and why the pool at home is different she told me the dam water is dirty - she cannot see the bottom or any part of herself underwater. The pool at home is too clean and she is scared when she sees the bottom.
Lulu feels you are making people scared of her and then she feeds off of their fear.

She says she is a very intense dog (and a bright one, I might add).

When I inquired about not trusting humans Lulu said it has nothing to do with her hip op. She says she was hurt by someone who she thought loved her and asked how can people send conflicting signals where they love you but can hurt you at the same time. Lulu says she doesn't want love she wants respect.
I asked if Lulu could learn to trust again and she said maybe she can. She said she trusts her Mom.
Lulu told me she feeds on fear and picks up if there is tension around. She worries for her Mom's safety at times. She said she is there to protect you. She is concerned you sometimes choose the wrong friends - she saids to tell you they are not all good friends.

Lulu asks for you to not talk about her like she is not there and cannot hear you. She seems to be taking on your stresses and fears and tells me she is very sensitive.

Finally Lulu said she loves her Mom very, very, very much and knows she is a stubborn dog. She asks you do not give up on her as she is really trying.

Marlene, I was recently loaned a book called Paws & Listen written by Jenny Shone who is up in your part of the country. Her website is and I see she has a couple of interesting courses coming up with regards animal communication if you are interested. I have not met Jenny or been on one of her courses but I do like the approach she takes with animals.

Best of luck with Lulu.
kind regards

I also added something that you may want to read...

I would also like to say something here, insofar as the dog is concerned. I have been with shepherds for many years now. I don't have any academic knowledge in this regard but what I have learnt through the years is that dogs actually want to make their pack members (which is you and your family) happy. With Lulu, I think the overly protective instinct has been either genetically transmitted or may be due to lack of socialization. A shy dog is scared of people perhaps because they have not known the love of a stranger or of someone outside their pack.

Sometimes stubbornness is also genetically instilled behavior and this may be the case for Lulu. One solution may be to take her for a walk with a friend of yours - one that she trusts. You can play fetch with her, in presence of your friend, but do not let her get into a competition with your friend. Occasionally, let your friend throw the Frisbee or the ball to let her feel that your friend can also be trusted. You can slowly increase the number of friends.

As you said, "...she will look very friendly, tail and body wagging, smiling and sniffing and even put her nose in the person's hand, but if they move to stroke her, she strikes back with lots of noise." I would stress on the point that she cannot trust your pals or any other stranger.

Lulu has a good heart and she wants to befriend people, but again she prefers to maintain a safe distance from them. "Wanting to become a friend" and at the same time "not being able to trust them", are the two opposite inner thoughts that clash with each other. And the outburst results in noisy barking and sometimes exhibiting aggression. This indicates lack of proper socialization during her formative years.

Since Lulu has shepherd blood in her, most of her instincts are driven by GSD genes - especially if the GSD gene is governing her behavior. You need to check Lulu's pedigree, if possible. I have had experience with GSD for many years now, I can help you by offering GSD information in my other blog ( Plus you can also check out my German Shepherd website.   Find information about rehabilitating shy German Shepherd Puppies

Please note that I made a few typos and errors while writing the mail to Marlene. Di helped me by correcting those. Thank you Di. 

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