Dogs, like people, crave leadership.
I had a wonderful opportunity to spend four days with Cesar Milan at his Dog Psychology Center for a workshop where he “trains people and rehabilitates dogs”. My wife and I have three rescue dogs and our Queensland heeler, shepherd mix was starting to get aggressive with both dogs and people. At the urging of my Mother and Wife, I went to “The dog whisperer” for help.
Cesar is truly an amazing man with a gift for helping people relate to the dogs in their lives. He is also a man of God and acknowledges that God is his “pack leader”.
Cesar began by explaining that most dog behavioral problems stem from two root causes: lack of leadership in the household and lack of agreement on the rules and boundaries of the household. After five minutes with Cesar, it became clear that Aussie was just anxious and needed me to step up and be the leader of my pack. Over the course of the next four days Cesar showed me and 42 other dog lovers what that looked like. I was unprepared for the changes that would take place over the next few days.
As I watched the wild, unpredictable and at times even aggressive dog I had come to know transform into a calm, confident and purposeful companion, I began to see that this was the relationship God had designed for us to have. Being an American man, I had always believed that discipline, rules and boundaries were impositions that a dog would certainly not desire. When I learned that dogs are pack animals who are made to follow a leader and thrive with consistent rules, boundaries and relentless discipline, it got me thinking that maybe people are not designed that differently. Would my family be more at ease, more centered and happier if I provided this kind of calm, consistent and assertive leadership? As it turns out, the answer is yes.
So I ‘ve been back home for about a month now, and wife gratefully acknowledges that I have come back a different man. I realize that I have only begun a slow process of becoming the leader that God created me to be, but starting that journey has made all he difference in the world to those I love. I’ll keep writing about the setbacks and victories along the way.