I Am Shiba.

Dedicated to momentary thoughts and musings of A Shiba Inu.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Calm Assertiveness

As I slowly enter my middle age years (remember 50 is now the new 30!), I realize the importance of this statement, and how it applies to a number of aspects in my life.

The Woman just finished reading Cesar Millan's book "Be The Pack Leader." Now, while she tells me that she disagrees with Cesar on a number of different levels, she found the book fascinating as it applies itself in a positive manner to both my life and hers.

When I am around other dogs, I no longer need to present myself aggressively. I can stand there, allow them to approach and genuflect, and then present themselves in a proper introduction. The Woman, while paying attention to both myself and the other dog, can then intervene on either of our behave if one of us does not play fair. Usually, it is (of course) the other dog who behaves inappropriately during our interaction and the situation is quickly remedied although however, I do admit that I make a mistake here and there regarding assertiveness verses aggressiveness, and am reminded when I do so.

Recently, The Woman took on a second job working with in a locked down boy's boarding school. These boys are in and out of the judicial system and range in ages from 11-17. Currently, the group of 8 that she trains there are between those ages. Each boy is there for a reason, and a very good reason at that. Saintly behavior is not one of their strengths.

However, the 4 ft. 11 inch tall dieting over 40 hot flashing Woman moves in and about these boys with ease. Some of the boys are twice her size, and yet, there has never been a confrontation or a stand off between her and her responsibilities. And, as a Shiba, I believe it is because of what Cesar Millan writes about: calm assertiveness.

The Woman, whether walking me on the leash, working with her job in the school system, or working her job in the residential home, is active (almost to a point of hyper), opinionated (almost to the point of overbearing), and full of humor and perspective. But through it all, She presents herself in an unexpected assertive manner that involves direct involvement through indirect action.

Now with me, She does not care if I go through the door first, but I better not jump out of the car without her permission or she makes me do the drill again. She does not care if I sniff frequently along my favorite walk where all the neighborhood dogs live, but if she says "leave it," I must. No matter how good it smells. All of this is done with a calm voice and positive attitude. Never once do I feel bad about what I did (or did not do), but rather I realize that there are rules that I need to follow, despite my desire to attempt to push the boundaries.

Too many people find themselves frustrated by the behavior of their dog or the people around them. As energy levels rise, so does the tension. When one remains calm against the seas of turmoil, navigation is much easier than if one feeling out of control and letting the tides chose their paths. I, as The Shiba, manage my household in a calm manner unless the situation calls for some level of excitement; a treat, a toy, a walk, a car ride, dinner, dessert, second breakfast, or the mailman, otherwise, I calmly live within my domain and make my desires known without pushing myself upon The People.

The Woman has found that when working with Oppositional Teenagers (which is a redundant term, She realizes), using Cesar's philosophy helps keep situations from escalating while at the same time, maintaining a respectful relationship between herself and her charges. She can be as crazy as she wants to be but at the same time, whether it be with a leash or with her voice, she can maintain her leadership role without having to bribe, cajole, or yell to make her point.

Cesar's techniques are good for out of control dogs and people. It's not just about picking your battles, but rather, looking at yourself and asking is this my problem or The Woman's problem, and then gently guiding the situation into a positive rather than a negative. I don't like my leash jerked as a reprimad so I respond better to stopping and vocal commands. The Woman does not like to be pushed around so instead she maintains good posture and appropriate body distance, to avoid potential conflicts arising from issues of personal space.

Remember that as a Shiba, I can teach you how to be a good leader if you are willing to take the leash, and be that leader for me.

I Am Shiba. And I Am Still Waiting For Second Breakfast.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teaching people to be leaders must be a genetic Shiba trait. Snickers has been doing his best to train me for 4 1/2 years now. :)

10:14 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I lost 13 lbs in only two weeks by obeying this one easy rule

4:21 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home