With a Heavy Heart - Cai Crossed the Bridge

Today's Pawsome Human: Amanda Matoske - Connecting with Canines Through Natural Dog Training

Good Boy Cai Crossed the Bridge Yesterday 🌈😢

Those eyes looked straight into my soul, from the day he arrived

My little shadow for 13 years.

By my side no matter where I went or what I did.

The one who taught me more about patience, sensibility and loyalty than any other soul.

When he arrived, less than 2 months old, he’d been rescued from an abusive owner where he’d gone through what no dog, and certainly not such a young puppy should experience.

Cai the day he arrived when he hadn’t quite decided yet whether he could trust me

He was nervous and highly sensitive, never relaxed enough to play freely, pulling on the leash like crazy, frightened of fireworks and thunderstorms, growling when excited (so most people were a bit scared of him even though he never hurt a fly).

None of the typical dog training advice worked.

Knowing what I know now, it makes perfect sense.

"You can't expect a dog to be obedient until they have a calm nervous system," says Annie Phenix, author of “The Midnight Dog Walkers: Positive Training and Practical Advice for Living with Reactive and Aggressive Dogs”, and “Positive Training for Aggressive and Reactive Dogs: Proven Techniques to Help Your Dog from Fear and Anxiety” (and speaker at the recent Panic to Peace summit)

It wasn’t until I stumbled across Natural Dog Training (today’s Pawsome Human will share more about that) that I understood that my job isn’t to train my dog, my job is to help my dog relax.

Once understood, I took that mission seriously.

Despite running a business with local clients, I moved away from Granada, to a place with a large garden, surrounded by nature.

And he flourished in the calmer environment. People who knew him as a young dog wouldn’t believe it was the same dog.

Without any training, he stopped pulling on the leash. He never liked fireworks but he no longer panicked. He played with other dogs.

Everything changed when I understood that he’d never been “difficult”, he just needed to be heard and understood.

He had been slowing down over the last few months but still doing fine until a few days ago. It’s been quite a shock but I’m glad he went so quickly and didn’t suffer long.

Thank you, little Boo Bear 🙏 You've truly been a gentle, wise teacher.

You’re the best boy! Say hello to Leo .. 🌈😥

Coming up this week: How to Overcome Separation Anxiety - Join the April LIVE Masterclass with Ness Jones

17th April, 8am Europe (7am UK, 4pm Brisbane)

If you dread going out without your dog because you know she/he’ll have a hard time, because you’re worried about what you might find when you get back ..

The upcoming session with separation anxiety specialist Ness Jones is for you.

Here are some of the questions we’re going to cover:

  1. What are the signs of separation anxiety in dogs, especially when they're subtle or not immediately apparent?

  2. For dogs with noise phobias (e.g., storms, motorbikes), what alternatives to medication can be explored to provide comfort and reduce anxiety?

  3. How can a dog's excitement and over-exuberance upon the owner's return be controlled, especially in a multi-dog household?

  4. What measures can owners take to minimize their dog's anxiety and destructive behavior during longer periods of absence?

  5. In cases of crate aversion or dislike of being isolated in a room, what methods encourage positive associations with these spaces?

  6. Can the presence of another dog alleviate separation anxiety, and under what circumstances might this be effective?

  7. Are there specific considerations or techniques for dealing with separation anxiety, reactivity, or fearfulness in rescue dogs or those with special needs (e.g., deafness, age-related sensory decline)?

I know the time might be a bit dodgy .. Ness is based in Brisbane, Australia, and there is literally no time that’s reasonable for people in Australia, Europe AND the US.

So you might not be able to make it live.

Sign up anyway and send your questions (I ask you on the registration form).

I’ll make the recording available so you can catch up in your own time.

Coming up …

In May: Miranda Wimbush about stressing less for dogs and their people

Stay tuned ..

If there is a topic or expert you’d love me to invite, please let me know.

This week’s Pawsome Human: Amanda Matoske - Connecting with Canines Through Natural Dog Training

In this episode, I have the pleasure of talking to Amanda Matoske, a professional dog trainer who follows the Natural Dog Training method developed by Kevin Behan.

Stumbling across Natural Dog Training was a game changer for me and my dogs. For the first time, an approach made sense to me. For the first time, my dogs responded well and we all enjoyed the process.

I always thought I’d love to have the chance to spend some time with Kevin Behan in Vermont. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2020.

I couldn’t believe it when I told an old friend about Soul Touched by Dogs and he said, “You need to meet my friend Amanda. She trained with a guy called Kevin Behan …”

I’m super excited to introduce Amanda to you.

She shares her journey of starting a fun-focused dog training business aimed at enhancing the bond between owners and their pets through enjoyable activities rather than stringent training routines.

She explains the basics of natural dog training, emphasizing a mutually beneficial relationship between dogs and their owners rather than dominance or control.

Amanda explains how natural dog training leverages the instincts and emotions (emotion = energy in motion) of dogs, using intention without reservation to achieve obedience and cooperation through understanding and empathy rather than fear or dominance.

And she shares practical tips for dealing with common challenges such as dog reactivity.

Gift yourself a time-out and listen in on our conversation https://share.descript.com/view/c5vECgmBOG1

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If you enjoy listening, please consider leaving a rating and review so other dog lovers can find the show and join the doggie fun.

Are you a canine professional?

A trainer, coach, behaviorist, nutritionist, holistic vet, or other canine expert with a holistic approach?

Would you like to be a guest on the podcast? Do you know someone you think would make a great guest?

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Get a mug with a picture of YOUR dog 🐾🐾 

How about a mug with a picture of YOUR dog, for your morning coffee or as a gift, using the proceeds to sponsor dogs in need and help the people who help dogs?

If you’d like one, hit reply and let me know.

Send me a good-quality photo of your dog and I’ll create the design and send you a link where you can purchase it.

They get made to order so it takes 10-12 days to arrive. €15 + shipping.

(Shipping depends on where you are of course but will be somewhere around €5-12. I’ll check for you before I go and create the design, so there won’t be any surprises)

Get your Soul Touched by Dogs t-shirt

The moment I had the idea for the mugs, I knew I also wanted t-shirts 😝 and I’m super happy with mine 🐾🐾😊😊

If you want, you can get yours here https://mavericks.tpopsite.com/product/t-shirt-woman-soul-touched-by-dogs-dark-blue (they come in a few different colours)

If it doesn’t come in your size, let me know. I do work with another supplier so we can find an option that works for you.

Just like with the mugs, the proceeds are going to dogs in need.

And as always ..

If you know another Soul Touched by Dogs, please send them to https://soultouchedbydogs.com 🙏🙏🐾🐾

Until next week,