Many dogs find the outside world a bit hard to handle. This problem is not exclusive to reactive or aggressive dogs however. Overly sociable dogs find being around people and other dogs so exciting that they literally lose their mind!
Whatever the trigger for your dog, the symptoms are exactly the same. They become so ‘aroused’ that they lose the ability to focus. They often won’t respond to their name, obedience goes right out the window, and they aren’t even aware of their physical body as they strain at the end of the leash almost choking themselves!
On a neurological level we refer to this as losing brain integration. Brain integration is when the right and left hemispheres of the brain ‘talk’ to each other optimally. The right hemisphere deals with creative, gestalt processing such as patterns, shapes and visual stimulus. The left hemisphere deals with logic, language, process and order. When a dogs brain is operating from a place of complete integration they will be able to assess a situation realistically and determine if it is a threat or not. They will be able to maintain logical thought and problem solve any difficult moments. If you were working on a training regime they would be able to follow your instructions and learn the behaviour you were teaching them, the whole time remaining calm.
The problem occurs when dogs become over stimulated by their environment. The stress, both biochemical and emotional, causes the brain function to change and although the neurons fire on overdrive, there is very little conscious, coherent, logical thought processes. This of course results in manic, scattered and stressed out behaviour. The stress created by the reactive environment short circuits the brain function between both hemispheres. In order to restore calm behaviour, we need to restore brain integration.
At Animal Energy Therapies we use neurological kinesiology techniques to restore full brain integration. This means we fully open the neural pathways running between right and left hemisphere ensuring communication is optimal. The dog is then able to assess the situation logically and maintain calm behaviour. As they are now able to problem solve in situations that previously overstimulated them, you now have an opportunity to step in and train the behaviour you want from them. Brain integration creates a ‘gap’ in the reactive behaviour to enable a new, calmer reaction. Or better yet – no reaction at all!
In situations where training hasn’t provided the results you were looking for, then restoring brain integration is the missing link.
Lola is a year old Labrador. Her owner has the most perfectly behaved dog at home where there are no distractions, but as soon as she steps over the threshold of the front door - all hell breaks loose! Lola's problem is that she is overly sociable. She wants to jump all over every dog and person she sees. Even when there are no people or dogs around her she anticipates that she will see them at some point so pulls frantically on her lead to get to them quicker. Her owner is unable to hold her attention in these situations and up until now has been unable to have her calm enough to begin teaching her a more appropriate way to behave.
Lola has responded amazingly to a recent brain integration session here at Animal Energy Therapies. This is the positive feedback from her owner:
"I just thought I'd let you know that Lola is doing really well! The last 5 walks we have done since your session have been a huge improvement... she appears calmer and is not hypervigilant all the time. Because she is calmer she isn't pulling me along!
We've seen a few people and she ignores them now rather than reacting. We've gone past houses with barking dogs ... she hears them and goes to react but is easily moved on. The biggest thing was on Saturday when we saw about 5 dogs on our walk ... she started to react, but I easily moved her away and she settled quickly." (Mandy).
All animals benefit from brain integration work and if you are struggling to control their behaviour when they become over stimulated this is the modality for you! Click on the link below to tell us more about the problem you are having and we will talk you through how we may be able to help.