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Spring is here, the season of new beginnings. Its the perfect time to help them with their behaviour!

Our dachshunds are just little seeds, its our job to help them grow.


Spring is here….almost…there’s a cold frost this morning, but the sun's come out and snowdrops and daffodils are blooming. Baby critters are appearing in the fields and the sun is out making everything feel so much more beautiful.


I had meant to get some pictures of my own for this blog, but unfortunately I've had a few poorly dogs, so huge thanks for my Stop Barking Course Graduates for sharing theirs. I couldn't fit in all the pics but gave it a good go!


I love this time of year, a time of fresh beginnings, a reminder that despite all the darkness of the past life just keeps coming, we just need to open our eyes to see it.

 

Why is that relevant to you and your dachshunds?

As we come out of hibernation, the world is going to get busier, louder and for some of you that means more challenging.  Those daxies that struggle with noise sensitivities, people and dogs in their space will find that they dread the coming warmer months.  After a break from all of it for the last few months you might forget how difficult these months can be for all of you and forget that this is the perfect time to start from scratch. You might find after the winter you see a regression in their behaviour.


As the world ‘opens’ it gives you the chance to slowly expose your dogs without the full on frontal of summer! Take advantage of it.

 

You all know I love my analogies, and being spring, lets look at our mental health and our dogs as seeds. I can’t say I’m particularly green fingered, but I love watching those videos of a planted seed starting to set down its roots.  All the things that happen beneath the soil which we can’t see. 


Again though, how on earth is that relevant to you?


The seed – its your dachshund.  They need the right environment and support to grow and cope in our world - your world!


To grow, the seed needs a safe and suitable environment. It needs the right nutrients to grow, and a stable environment to develop properly and strongly.


The seed needs a gardener, they need extra support. Whether a novice gardener or a green fingered guru, the seeds need help to grow. That is you!


To enable the seed's growth, we, the gardeners, need to water it, with just the right amount and depending on the type of seed you may need to adjust the temperature and add additional “stuff” to the soil to support its growth.


Here’s the thing though, you do all of this, but you cannot see the growth taking placeYou take it on faith that you are carefully and diligently giving it what it needs to set down strong roots before you even see a glimmer of movement. 


You need to nuture the roots, the foundations, without strong foundations you cannot grow and hold strong!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/59039445085455059/

That is your training. SETTING DOWN STRONG ROOTS! Giving the right attention and ingredients for growth, and understanding where things change, we need to make changes.



Through consistent and systematic training and behavioural support, you have to put in the time suitable for your dachshund, your seed, and have the faith that your careful diligence, hard work and systematic approach is having an impact on the parts of your dachshunds you can’t see – their emotions, their brain.


Now sometimes, something in their environment, or their general conformation can affect their growth. That is where we, the gardeners, must make changes to help them. Ted is a perfect example of this. After so much work, after illness and being attacked, his growth stalled. He needed extra help. But now he's had that, he's growing into the beautiful flower he only let a few of us see. The previous work put in is now starting to take root, and he is beginning to blossom.


He needs special support, and extra watering, as do many who have underlying medical issues, but its important to keep going!


And then, you get a glimmer of a sprouting, but you’re not there yet, that tiny shoot needs careful support to grow.  It may need different nutrients, a different environment, with more light – but not direct sunlight and probably some sort of support.


Do you see where I’m going with this? Your dogs behaviour, your hard work, its that tiny shoot.  All too often we are guilty of getting ahead of ourselves and putting that seedling in direct sunlight where it is just far to hot for them to survive, and then all your hardwork shrivels up. Do you give up? Or do you rethink what may have happened and take a different approach?


Its redeemable, we all make mistakes, you just need to provide extra support, more water, careful trimming, a less exposed area and pay a little extra attention. 


As novice gardeners we will make mistakes, and we will learn from them. Or, you can give up, and never see the beauty of that seed grow into that beautiful tree.


Whichever way you want to look at it, to facilitate change, to help things grow we have to put in the time, make sure the environment is right and continue to support until that plant, or behaviour is strong enough to survive without your additional help, where those roots (which are unseen) are strong enough to support itself.


Things to think about as spring approaches

  • Neighbours may start gardening, think about desensitisation sounds specifically for this

  • More people walking their dogs – think about areas where dogs should be on lead and start helping the dogs learn to walk calmly with you

  • More people at the café’s and pubs – start building on this slowly, even if they’re usually ok, there’s no harm in some practice runs

  • More children out playing – think about all the things children bring, fast movement, noise, food.  What parts can you prepare for.

  • More visitors and garden activities – Think about what this means to your dogs. 





What parts can you start on now?


You don't need to do hours, just work things into your routine!


Can you break things down into tiny patronizingly basic steps – daxies like that. We all like that! They like being rewarded for seemingly easy tasks, but to them, they’re not so easy. Then slowly ask for more and more so you help to build confidence.








Don’t wait until tomorrow, make small changes today.  Now! Go on, do it. You'll feel great for making that step!


Make this year different from last year, make it better and calmer.


Remember, you may not see changes straight away, but whilst you manage the environment nurture that seed, help it grow, have faith in the dedication you are putting in, and reach out for help from a qualified professional if you need that extra help!


At the start of this, I mentioned our mental health, exactly the same principles apply. Don't set ridiculously high goals, just work on one thing at a time, and focus on those roots! They are the key to your own growth. As I've shared in previous blogs, I'm on my own journey of self discovery, there are elements I just cannot do by myself, and whilst it is hard, I have reached out to those who can help me for support. Asking for help is hard, but its not a weakness, its a strength and its necessary to help you enjoy the beauty's of the spring of our lives.


We look at all this and more on the Stop Barking Courses I run.  Next one is listed on www.perfectlypolitedachshunds.com


More spring pics as I was sent so many and just couldn't choose.

 


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