31. Who’s Playing Games With Who?

Sir Oliver's Granny

The walks we do with sir Oliver are coming more and more to a point where we, my daughter and I, are able to firstly direct ourselves and within this process and as an outflow of this process, we are able to direct sir Oliver as well. We actually needed more change than he did, since a dog is more aware of living in the moment, and we humans tend to relive the ‘bad’ experiences. Following our thoughts about the ‘bad’ experiences and right away project it onto a new and fresh experience to turn it sour and as well become our own bully.

So any doubt we had about being the top dog or the leader of the pack, was due to allowed memories that we let ourselves to be move by, while expecting the worse. When writing this down it almost sounds ridiculous, realizing that this is the typical human behavior that takes away our self-esteem and leadership qualities.

As I said, the walks are getting smoother day after day. With sometimes a fall back, which always leads back to our abdications of leadership, that’s reflecting back on sir Oliver which is confusing him.

Then another ‘problem’ emerged, we started having difficulties with getting sir Oliver from his dog bed to the front door to get him ready for his walks. He seems to like his walks, so that could not be the cause. Sometimes both my daughter and I would call him to come, or one of us. Trying to trick him with dog treats, and yes, that sometimes worked. He is able to respond to the word come, he is hearing the word walking and combined with the sound of my house keys which I put in my pocket of my coat, sir Oliver absolutely knows what we are about to do. There should not be a reason for why sir Oliver looks at us and keeps sitting or lying on his bed, other than alpha behavior or being confused or both.

One time he would get up, walk towards the hallway, and than walk back again to his bed. Or when seeing the harness, turning around and go and sit on his bed again. Though while walking sir Oliver he doesn’t give the impression that the harness is hurting him or being uncomfortable. So again for now something to stripe through as a cause to why he would not listen and come.

Then when coming and leaving for several times it almost looked like a game to us. We were already considering that he was playing with us, tease us so to speak. The next question I asked myself was, what would make him tease me? Is he reflecting something back to me? Sir Oliver was almost dedicated within it, so what was he communicating through his dog behavior. And who is playing games with who?

I had to take a self-honest look here to see that when I asked him to come, I already thought about him not coming. Already thinking this will take ages, not again please. There it was, I was the one playing mind games, and reflected that back on sir Oliver as him playing games with me. I was completely blank as to how I could resolve this impasse. What is the solution to this?

I went from what is the solution to this to, I might actually be the solution as I had noticed before with other issues. So I tried to take back authority, be strict and wanting him to come with no other outcome. Do I need to say that this was an inflexible way of thinking of me? Sir Oliver was still being confused and I was still having a hard time letting go of the fear he would not listen and obey, and it taking ages to get to the actual walk.

Therefore I had to let go of this overly directive way, not considering that I had to guide him to this point of coming towards me, while being his pack leader. I changed my approach and instead I first came over to sir Oliver on the bed, catching his attention with the house keys or my words about walking, giving him a moment to get up and then let him walk next to me into the hallway. Wow this worked, I was directive and asking him for my respect to obey me, while at the same time giving him respect to give him a moment to get his act together and understand what was asked from him.

Now he is following me with a wobbling tail. Sometimes I get over to sir Oliver’s bed, other times he already gets up and walks straight into the hallway with me.

Earlier we only put on his harness when we were dressed up, putting on shoes, coats and shawls, which took quite some time for sir Oliver to stay focussed and thus he would leave the hallway again, not knowing what to do. Now we put on his harness and ask him to wait. He’ll wait and when we are dressed up we hook him onto the leash and walk in front of him out of the front door.

People speak about training a dog, I would say it is mostly training yourself which eventually results in a trained dog.

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