EMHD Episode 3: 3 Easy Ways to Help Your Dog Feel Better Right Now

Sep 12, 2022

In this episode, you’ll learn three simple things that can help your dog feel better right away. All three things are easy to fit into your day, no matter how busy you are.

These non-habitual movements can improve your dog’s body awareness, which may enhance mobility, balance, and coordination.

They’ll also help deepen and strengthen your bond with your dog.

These three simple, hands-on “moves” also encourage you to take a breath, take a break from your routine and simply LISTEN to your dog.

When you do that, you and your dog will be more tuned in to each other. You’ll communicate on a deeper level.

You’ll also find that they can reduce stress for you and your dog.

Want to know another benefit? They can really brighten your dog’s day. And your own!

After all, a happy, healthy life consists of a series of small steps that you take daily.

These small steps can add up to greater health, vitality, and love for you and your dog.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Learn Connected Breathing (FREE videos): https://www.marydebono.com/dog

Zoey’s recovery from hip surgery (read to the end of see the link to the video!)

How Optimism can Heal Your Dog

More resources:

Join our free Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DogHealthAndVitality

Get Mary’s bestselling, award-winning book, “Grow Young with Your Dog,” for a super low price. Demonstration videos included at no extra cost.


Hello, and welcome! Today, I wanna share with you in the short episode, how your beliefs, how your mindset, and if you will impact your dog's life, as well as your own. So let me start with a little story. When I was a kid, we had this wonderful dog, wonderful dog. He was a Norwegian elk count, right?

They weren't too common. They're still actually not that common. He was a beautiful dog. And so what's, what's interesting is we started showing him my dad and, and the family. We started showing him just as amateurs. We didn't hire professionals or, or doing things he was Zeus's name was, which is a great name. Isn't it?

He was a much-loved member of the family that was first and foremost, but we also wanted to do dog shows on the weekends. So we, my dad would handle him and he would do the confirmation classes and he did quite well. He was a beautiful dog, very well developed. And then once he got his championship and all that, we decided to go more into obedience work.

And what's funny is especially then. So this is, this is quite a number of years ago. I was a kid. Everyone would tell my dad, all these professionals and non-professionals alike would tell, would tell us, oh, you can't train a Norwegian L count. Oh, you'll never do anything in the obedience ring.

He never gonna do anything. And that's a belief that a lot of people have, they say, oh, they're, they're bred for hunting. They're never gonna listen to you. Okay. And luckily, my dad didn't believe that. Okay. He, he, he refused to accept that. You can think of it as like a hypnotic suggestion because this is how beliefs are formed.

Other people tell us things. It's like, you're not born with a belief, but through exposure to different things, you start to develop beliefs. So a lot of people belief that our dogs are wonderful. Norwegian L count would never be able to be trained in obedience.

And one of the things I remember, and I was just a little kid, but it made a big impression on me is they said, this dog will never jump. He will never jump. He will never get him to jump. Cuz you know, in obedience, there are different obstacles. They go over and some of them are quite hike. There's a high jump. There's a long jump, et cetera.

Well, Zeus loved to jump. So he would do all the recalls with the jumps and you know, holding the dumbbell, doing all the things he was great. So he actually got trained up to utility level and he was fantastic. As a matter of fact, he was so good that he was chosen to make dog food commercials. He used to be on TV because he knew all these hand signals.

Right? So super fun stuff. So, he met all these famous people cuz he used to be on, the commercials would be with the tonight show with at the time was Johnny Carson and his guests. So he went from, you know, if, if my dad had listened to these people, all these so-called experts, right? He wouldn't have bothered trying to teach Zeus anything, right?

It's just like, oh Norwegian accounts can't learn. Right. They can't be trained, but he refused to believe that. Now, unfortunately, a lot of us just take in things and, and create what we call limiting beliefs, their beliefs, either about ourselves, about our dogs, about other people, whoever.

And then we live our lives by them because they create certain feelings in us, maybe feelings of inadequacy, maybe feelings of frustration. And then our actions are in response to those feelings. And a lot of this happens unconsciously. Okay. A lot of it happens under the radar. So it's like, we need to kind of bring it to the surface so we know how to change them.

So let me give you an example that might hit home. Maybe there was a time when you got a new job or you transferred to a new department or, or whatever, or somehow you got a new supervisor, a new boss, and somebody warned you about this boss. And they said, you know, she's not a very nice boss.

Matter of fact, she's horrible. And that's the reason I'm leaving. You know, she's unfair, she's this she's that, you know, she blah, blah, blah. It's all negative stuff. They told you. Well, right in, you're gonna go into that job with the expectation that this supervisor is going to treat you badly. And so your brain will look for evidence of that to support that.

It's what we call confirmation bias. It's like you have this belief and then you find evidence. It's like, it's like doing a Google search, right? If you, what you put in is what comes up. So if you, if you tell your brain, right, this is a bad person. This is they'll start showing you examples of how she is terrible right now.

On the other hand, if someone had taken you aside before that person got to you and said, this is the best boss I've ever worked for. She's amazing. She's always been there for me. She's so patient, you know, the work is amazing, you know, and they told you all these positive things and said, the only reason I'm leaving is cuz we're moving outta state and I have to leave.

You would have a really different impression wouldn't you of that boss? And so therefore your feelings about her would be different. So your actions would be different and your brain would be looking for evidence of, you know, even if she was in kind of a funky mood one day, you'd probably give her a little grace over it.

You'd be like, oh, maybe something happened at home or whatever. You wouldn't be so quick to be judgemental. Right? So, so this is true for our dogs. You know, I've had a couple of terriers in my life, both amazing dogs I might add. And you know, so many people say things like you can't teach a terrier or anything, you can't train them.

So it's a similar belief or a person has a belief about the athletic ability or the coordination of their particular dog, whether it's a breed-wide, general belief, or specific to their dog, right? Someone may have said something to them or they got some information that led them to form that belief or they had certain experiences and they chose to latch on to those more negative experiences.

Now you can also have wonderful, positive beliefs about your dog and, and yourself, which is what I hope you have. But this is where it's important to start to recognize where you're holding yourself and your dog back. So let's think about your belief. So if you have a belief that, oh, I'm not, I'm not confident enough to be a trainer or I'm not smart enough to learn all this stuff or, you know, I don't have good, you know, good body awareness.

So I could never help my dog in the way Mary Debono teaches or something like that. Right. If you have those beliefs again, you're going to find the evidence to make them true. But if you decide to challenge those beliefs, okay. And there are several different ways that I teach how to do this, but here's a really simple way.

And it works. It's simple, but it works. Just say you think, you know, I don't have much confidence. I'm like not a confident person find the simplest example of when you did feel confident or it doesn't even have to be the simplest, but it can be simple. Like in other words, I often use this example for people.

Well, you are confident tying your shoes cuz most people are. And they're like, well, yeah, Mary of course tie my shoes multiple times a day. I'm like, okay, what did that feel like? Did you even give it a second thought? No, you just tied your shoes. Take that feeling. And now play that in your head while you're doing something else.

That's a little bit more challenging. Okay. Maybe not, you know, Manning a submarine or, or something you haven't been trained to do, but do some, apply that to something a little more challenging. Think about the feeling of confidence and bring that up the next time you do something that's just a tiny bit outside your comfort zone. Okay. You know, baby steps here, little winds.

And also if you think about your dog, if there's something you believe about your dog, can you find evidence of the opposite? So if it's a belief you don't want about your dog, right? Maybe again, let's go back to the training thing. Oh, my dog is not smart enough. Or that breed isn't easily trained.

We'll find evidence of when you were able to teach your dog something, find evidence of that. Okay. And then build on that super, super important. But again, I often go back to the example with my dad, cuz it made a huge impression on me that he chose not to believe all that negative input he was getting about our dog.

And luckily he chose not to believe it. And we had amazing fun because our dog loved doing all that stuff. He loved it. We always kept it light. We didn't put pressure on our dog or anything. He was like I said, first and foremost, a beloved member of the family. And we just did things. He enjoyed it as much as we did.

So think about the beliefs you have and they could also involve health issues. Like a lot of people feel that if the dog has been, you know, has a particular injury or something, they can never get better. And I would ask you to question that I did an episode about this, about how optimism can help heal your dog.

You might wanna look at that because there are a lot of things that people were given, very negative prognosis, things like that, that, and of course, you're going to take your vet's advice always, but there's sometimes there are things we can do to improve our dogs, outlook, to improve the prognosis for our dog.

That might be a little bit outside, outside the box thinking so to speak. So be careful where you get your information, maybe get a lot of different professional opinions and things like that, so that you make the right decisions and you have beliefs that actually empower you and empower your dog so that you have this wonderful, healthy, active life together. Okay?

And you can start doing this at any age and any age of your dog, you can start changing how you feel about your dog. And again, building on things that are enjoyable that do feel good to you and feel good to your dog. So find those things, find those beliefs. And remember a belief is just a thought that you have that you're sure about.

And maybe it's something that you shouldn't be sure about. Okay. There's a good saying that says don't believe everything you think. So start to question your beliefs and think of how you can flip them. If they're not serving you and they're not serving your dog, think of how you can flip them and find evidence.

Even the silliest evidence, find evidence that the opposite is true and start to have more beliefs that serve you and serve your dog. And I'd love to know what you're coming up with. I'd love to hear from you even, either over in my dedicated to dogs, that's my free Facebook group. And I'll have a link in the show notes.

You can talk to me over there or email me at [email protected]. I'd love to know what your limiting beliefs are for yourself or for your dog or maybe what your empowering ones are or what you want to switch them to. Any of those things, let me know what's on your mind, or also let me know what you'd like in a future episode and we can make one just for you.

Okay. well, thank you so very much. I love sharing this work with you and I can't wait to talk to you again. Bye for now.