Stop Bullying | A Girl and Her Dog

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by jtclough on October 12, 2010

Bullying is a tragic practice that has gone on in more ways than the media has given attention to.  The recent suicides by several young people has brought awareness and more hope to those who feel they are victims or just trying to avoid becoming one.

It is Okay To Be Who You Are

The message ringing out should be, “It is okay to be who you are.”  Though the problem is complex and there are many unfair situations, fixing the problem from the core is an important piece to the puzzle.

We tend to be a society that wants to be something we aren’t, and are taught this from the time we are young.  Just the idea that you must have more, be better, and live up to something is a basis of instability.

As a professional fitness dog trainer I see the imbalance behind the very basis of bullying…  “it’s not okay to be who you are”…. come out in dogs.  It is a sure sign of our society.  When dogs are having problems, I get the call and it usually starts with the concept, “I wanted this dog to be different than he or she is.”

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t work on our behavior in order to make life a better place, for both people and dogs.  What I’m saying is we need to start with a place of acceptance and move forward to be honest with ourselves about our true needs and who we are, rather than what every one else thinks we should be.

When one doesn’t feel okay about who they are behaviors like fear aggression appear.  It can show up with actions towards someone else or actions towards yourself, but when the underlying feeling is “I need to be someone else”, fear is part of it.

Dogs are the same.  They don’t know how to act in an urban society and studies have shown that they learn best by mimicking.   The number of dogs who have bad behavior based on fear is rising.  Doesn’t that speak loudly about how many people are acting out of fear?

Stop Bullying By Being Who You Are

It’s easy to look at bullies and point the finger.  It’s really easy to do when people see a big dog acting like a bully.  The truth of the matter is that “bullying” is missing the chance to feel good about yourself, someone else, your dog, or your relationships and it comes out with blame or ugly behavior.

Stop being hard on yourself, or your dog and start to take steps to accept who you are and how you can make life feel more balanced.  Dogs can reflect our behavior in such a huge way.  Your dog’s behavior may be telling you that it’s time to stop and take a look at yourself.  Slow down.  Feel okay to be who are and to make choices that are good for you.

It really is about taking small steps everyday using the things you CAN do while leaving thoughts of what you can’t do behind.

Dogs Who Get Better Are Really About People Who Have Gotten Better

I work with dogs all the time that have fear of other dogs, certain places, or people.  I get to watch how a personality can come out with just a little encouragement on how much is already right and creating more of those feelings by actions based on what you CAN do.

It’s a concept for everyone.  Write down three things you CAN do to feel better about yourself and be who you are today and do one of them.  Do the same for your dog.  Take a walk, chase a ball, go for a run, and spend some time playing.  Concentrate on spending more of your moments doing things you CAN do.

Please ReTweet and spread the word…. put a stop to bullying with the message be who you are and concentrate on what you CAN do.

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