Energy is hard to define but vitally important. Websters defines energy as “the ability to be active. The physical and mental strength that allows you to do things. Natural enthusiasm and effort. Usable power that comes from heat, electricity, etc.” Other definitions of energy include “the strength or vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity. The capacity of power to do work. The power derived from the utilization of physical or chemical resources, especially to provide light and heat, or to work machines.”
Synonyms of energy include; vitality, vigor, life, animation, vivacity, spirit, enthusiasm, zest, spark, effervescence, exuberance, buoyancy, strength, stamina, power, drive, fire, passion, ardor, zeal, pep, pizzazz, moxie, mojo and go!
Energy is important. Energy is real. Energy is often misunderstood and overlooked particularly when we consider how much, or should I say how little, we know about personal energy and the energy of everything around us.
Today I want to encourage you to learn to read/interpret and then control your own energy and learn to read your dog’s energy. Be a referee of your dog or pup’s energy! You can accomplish this by taking charge of your own personal energy first.
Have you considered your own personal senses and all the things assaulting your brain? I would start there. Let’s slow down for a second and think about this…
Let’s pick one of your five senses and imagine all the energy in the environment that flows into your mind from that one sense. Let’s start with hearing. Please picture with me all the sound energy that your ears take in! From airplanes passing overhead, to TVs and radios, from little children yelling, laughing, and working on their oratory skills, to birds chirping, traffic noises, neighborhood lawn mowers, ringtones, the quick buzzing of insects, garage doors opening and closing, the footfalls of folks in a hallway or on the steps, to the never ending drone of a computer running our two ears are constantly catching noises and sound energy. Sometimes our brains block out the cacophony of energy and we barely notice the tidal wave of sounds. At other times all it takes is an inconsiderate neighbor acting like a clown and blasting his music with extra bass to expose our last nerve!
(For a fun exercise close your eyes now for a minute or three and don’t say a word. Just listen. Listen and try to identify how many sounds are around you.)
Now think about how this is just one, only one of our many senses! It’s amazing to think how much energy is constantly flowing around us, into us, and out of us!
A good ref always takes action before the energy rises to uncontrollable levels! Note the physical expression and interception by the ref.
The mother and father dog instinctively understand that they have to conserve and save their energy. Pups don’t know this; that’s one big reason they are more hyperactive than adults. The mother and father dog also know that there is only so much energy allowed in any environment at one time. This is critically important for you to understand if you want to be able to calm or control your dog or puppy’s energy levels. There is only so much energy allowed in any one territory or pack at one time. If it gets too high there will be an “explosion” or some form of fight or flight!
Here is a very human example I use when helping my clients…
Imagine you are at a party. Things seem to be going swimmingly until you notice someone is going a bit too far. Before you know it there’s a spilled drink or some sort of outburst coming from the culprit. All heads turn toward the sound or sight of the extra energy coming from across the room. Then everyone turns back so as not to be rude or commit a social faux pas. You might be one of the ones to turn back a bit slower and even add a disapproving shake of your head or raise your eyes wide as you rejoin the conversation circle you were engaged in before the energy burst from the other side of the room interrupted you. This is classic non-verbal communication we all know so well. And an example of how too much of the wrong energy causes chaos in the environment.
If you look real closely…and I mean look really close, with a sharp eye you may be able to tell that the dog featured in this picture is exhibiting low energy.
We all move up and down the energy scale throughout our day. We wake up and get moving and eat breakfast which then gets turned into fuel for our human “fire” and we have more energy. If we eat too much lunch we then may find we have less energy to output because our insides are too busy converting the giant meal…our gut hasn’t finished converted the food fuel into usable energy yet and we are sluggish.
Our dogs move up and down the energy scale too. As wise dog owners we should seek to learn more about how to calm or intercept our dog’s energy. Cultivating calm energy is the only thing that prevents behavioral issues!
“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.” -Aristotle
Remember, any fool can pump a dog up and excite them; only someone with a deep understanding of body language and energy control can calm them down quickly and effectively.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Energy and Persistence conquer all things.” Isn’t that good? I can’t get enough!
I leave you with a few great quotes from some notable folks who really influenced the world around them with an understanding and application of energy. Now go boldly forward and influence your dog’s energy!
Don’t we ALL need to apply this great quote!
“If you want to define the secrets of the language of dogs think in terms of energy, touch, and how the senses experience the environment.” Garrett Stevens
Be on the lookout for our upcoming book! It will be very applicable and different from what I’ve seen in dog training and behavioral modification books…it will actually work and work well! -G