Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Hi guys! Today I want to share some insights I learned about how we and our dogs brains process information. This pic is from a presentation Andrew Hale gave. It was brilliant! Many of you have heard me speak about my own dogs fear and I could empathise with him, but I still didn't realise what it does to the brain. First off, I want you to think of something that scares you. Like you freeze when you see it! For me, its any big hairy spider!! I have a hard time looking at pics in a book of them! Take a second and bring that image to your mind.... is your heart beating faster....chills up your spine, hair on your arm standing up? Remember that....
Ok so our brain has doorways. Multiple doorways. When we are calm, those doors are fully open, able to take in loads of information, process it, retain it, and make rational decisions based on that information. When we are scared, all the doors slam shut! We are now on complete instinct mode. We might run, probably scream, and maybe even attack if were cornered. It all happens in seconds and we don't even realize what were doing. Its like our body takes over. We don't think... we just do. We can't process any information in this mode. Think of it this way. A teacher wants to teach you how to play piano. Just before they start, someone puts a friendly pet tarantula(or whatever you're scared of) on top of the piano. It slowly starts creeping across the piano as they try to show you a chord. I know for me, I'd be outta there screaming and I might even punch anyone who got in my way!!! *shiver* No way could I learn anything in that state. All the doors are shut! But as I get further away from it.... doors start to open and I can think again.
Now let's bring that to our dog. What's your dog scared of? Is it cars on the road? Kids on skateboards? Strangers? Other dogs? Loud noises? Are those things in the environment close by while were trying to teach our dog something new or when were trying to have a leisurely walk?? If they are, that poor dog is not in the right mental state to learn anything, or be calm, his doors are shut. Next time you see your dog react, ask yourself, what closed my dogs doors??