Last night, I was talking to a wonderful man who hasn't been able to make some of the changes in his life that he really wants to. His fear has been getting in the way. As he talked about his situation, I began to imagine his fear as a big, clumsy dog galloping through his home. The dog wasn't mean, or bad, it just needed its master to set some limits. In fact, it wants limits-- it will be less anxious if it knows where it's allowed to go, and what the rules are. The dog, Fear, needs discipline and consistency. Have you ever watched The Dog Whisperer? I saw one episode, and knew right away the dog is never the problem: that poor Cesar Milan has to train PEOPLE!
I pictured the man as a child, when the dog was as big as he was. The dog was overwhelming then! It could push him over! And none of the adults in the house handled his Fear. The man's an adult now, and he can handle Fear, but it's only just starting to occur to him that he's bigger than the puppy now.
Then I thought about the dog I haven't trained properly. I think it's a spoiled Chihauhau. It yaps an awful lot, and tends to get riled up and nip my ankles. I need to learn to ignore it when it's acting up, but I also need to learn to praise it when it's doing it's job. Because it's a good dog. It loves me, and watches out for me. It just needs to be corrected when it's over-vigilant. Sometimes, it needs to stop pacing (and I need to crate it).
What kind of dog is your fear? How do you need to train it?
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