Let’s talk about your dog’s potential.
Potential is something which has been hijacked to an extent by the ‘better you’ movement.
The movement that tells us humans to be better, look, better, be more and do more.
It’s all at a price. To our self-esteem and our pocket.
Potential though is different to being better.
Particularly for dogs.
Dogs who have such little control and agency, no matter how we try.
Potential for our dogs is the ability to feel safe enough to be themselves.
The ability to be confident enough to speak out if something is happening to them that they don’t like.
The knowledge that we will protect them if they need us to.
The awareness that they live in a safe space, and we will learn their language and listen to them.
The confidence that we will encourage them to be who they truly are, to identify and meet their needs.
Potential isn’t the ‘be better’ movement.
Your dog’s potential isn’t how many tricks they can do or whether they walk nicely on a collar and lead.
Their potential is those tiny little character traits that they feel safe enough to show us.
Those times when they feel comfortable enough to say no.
The nature, character and personality we see when our dogs are listened to and respected.
That’s your dog’s potential.
Check out my book on Canine Resilience, it covers everything in this post and so much more.