To fix common pet problems like aggression and anxiety, we need to examine our own behaviour first, according to a pet communication expert.
Dexter, my six-year-old Tibetan spaniel was suffering from frequent separation anxiety when I brought him to see animal expert Simonne Lee at her Sydney apartment last month.
Through in-depth questioning, Simonne soon established that it was the chaotic way that I was leaving the house which was making him tense.
She asked me to demonstrate how I’d rush out the door, forget my wallet, then race back in again and slam the door as I ran to make the train.
Dexter was reading this frantic movement as alarming and then he’d be left alone to deal with the chaotic energy long after I was at work.
“If you left your wife that way, she’d be stressed, she’d be calling you on the phone,” Simonne explained.
“He’s getting anxious because you’re getting anxious and he doesn’t understand the story that’s going through your head.
“All he knows is there is stress, there is anxious energy and I need to be concerned.”
Parents leaving their children at daycare for the first time often creates a similar outcome, Simonne added.
“You need to leave in one movement,” she said.
“Not like: good boy, you’re okay, we’ll back back later this afternoon - because what you’re doing is negative reinforcement.
“Basically, it’s training you to be stronger and happier as you’re leaving.”
Alignment of energy is key to pet communication, expert says
Because pets are dependent on us for their food, water and walks, we are their world, Simonne explained.
When our cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits search for clues as to how to interact with us, they can often read our mood before we know how we’re feeling ourselves.
For that reason it’s important for pet owners not to be multitasking when they engage with their pets, because if our words and our emotions aren’t aligned it will confuse them.
“Animal communication is just purely energy, and once you understand how to work with energy, utilise energy and send messages back and forth it changes everything,” Simonne said.
Speaking to your pet the same way you would speak to a five-year-old child is the best way to start, according to Simonne.
She suggests saying a phrase like “I love you” to begin because that will cause your heart to swell as you say it.
Pet communicator explains situation to Dexter the dog
Most children don’t question to their ability speak to animals, Simonne believes, and she’s never stopped.
After pointing out my behavioural problems, Simonne shifted her attention to Dexter.
Using a soft, calm voice, she beckoned him over and sat him on her lap.
She listened as Dexter explained that he hates being left alone.
“I don’t know what to do with myself,” Dexter said via Simonne's translation.
Slowly and carefully, she explains to him that he doesn’t need to worry.
“You know how important you are to the family?” Simonne said.
“They love coming home to you, and if by chance you’re left home alone, you have a very important job to do all by yourself.
“Your job is to keep the place nice and calm and relaxed.”
Three weeks on from our visit Dexter no longer frets when I leave the house.
I'm no longer taking my phone with me on our walks either, so I can focus my energy on him, and this has improved our relationship and made us even closer.
Learning to align my words and feelings when I speak to him has made me clearer in my own thoughts, and even improved my communication with the other people in my life.
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