You and Your Dog: The Similarities are Uncanny

Like attracts like. The type of person and energy you put out there, are the type of people and energy you’ll attract into your life – My Mother

There are those times where you’re walking down the street and you think to yourself Oh look at that dog! And then you start to scan up to the owner and you think Wow, the owner looks just like their dog! We’ve all had those moments, and then I’m sure all of you have had the  thought of Do I look like my dog? For those of you who have sleek Greyhounds and beautiful Border Collies, it might not be that big of a deal, those of us who have funny looking mutts? It’s a little more of a concern.

Who's showing who?

Who’s showing who?

You’ve seen pictures of Porter. He’s a goofy looking dog. I love him because he’s goofy looking. Sometimes I try and see the similarities between us. And although I’m not at the point of wanting to admit that we look alike, we do have some of the same tendencies.

-          If you mess with our food, we will not always be the nicest

-          We both can sleep through an alarm like it’s our job

-          We love blankets. Love them. Can’t get enough.

And the biggest thing we have in common is….

-          We’re both dog reactive!

And now you’re all thinking, well you don’t get aggressive with dogs, you love dogs! Being dog reactive doesn’t mean you’re aggressive. It means that you are at a more alert and hypersensitive state when another dog is around.

Take this for an example:

I’ll be doing some shopping and all of a sudden I hear a jingling sound. My immediate reaction is to stop what I’m doing and find out where that sound is coming from because it’s OBVIOUSLY a dog collar. And then there’s the serious disappointment when it’s just someone getting their keys out of their bag.

Or another example:

I’m not really allowed to drive many places. If Tall Guy is going with me, he drives. Why? Because if I see a dog walking on the side of the road it takes all of my willpower not to stare at it as we go by. Safety first.

I think the tongue is where the resemblance is the strongest....

I think the tongue is where the resemblance is the strongest….

I’m dog reactive. There’s no way around it. So, guess what? If I’m on a walk with Porter, I have to be extra aware of the energy I’m portraying to him. He’s going to get excited if there’s another dog nearby, which means I can’t. I have to make sure I stay calm and bored and don’t let my own excitement take over. The minute I do, is the minute that Porter can sense an increase of energy, which he will only try and match. He’ll immediately feel that there is a reason for him to get overexcited about the dog heading our way. So, it’s important I can keep my own dog reactivity in check as well as Porter’s.

 The running joke with my friend is that if Ryan Gossling was walking his dog towards me, I'd only notice the dog.

The running joke with my friend is that if Ryan Gossling was walking his dog towards me, I’d only notice the dog.

Be aware of the personality traits that you share with your dog. The good and the bad. But pay close attention to how your personality traits can affect your dog’s reaction to situations. If you’re both uncomfortable when trucks race by you while you’re on the sidewalk, recognize that and work on calming yourself before that situation appears.

So, I’m working on my own dog reactivity issues daily, but I can’t help it that they’re just so fluffy, and cute, and adorable!

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH

One thought on “You and Your Dog: The Similarities are Uncanny

  1. I can’t help it! I say “Hello, Puppy!” to every dog I pass (in the car or on foot.) So I guess I am dog reactive too. Which is something I have to watch for when out & about with Penny.

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