Humans are rewarded for being emotional and intellectual. We’re paid and rewarded socially to ignore instincts and just “fit in”. We’re paid financially to ignore instincts and just “do as we’re told” or “do what it takes to get the next check”.
Dogs are neither emotional nor intellectual. They live purely in the instinctual world. Act and react. Survival. Living in the moment.
This creates a challenge for dog owners.
The moment we become intellectual - we think too much - we are hesitant. And hesitation in the animal world = uncertainty. And animals do not follow uncertain leaders.
The moment we become overly emotional, we become weak. And it blocks our ability to listen to our instincts. There is a wide range of emotions from anger/frustration to pity/sadness. All of it is weak. And animals do not follow weak/unsure leaders.
This post is obviously about how living too much in the intellectual or emotional worlds can confuse your dog. But I’d argue that we all need to be more instinctual in our personal and work lives as well.
We’ve practiced ignoring our instincts for far too long. Maybe we should tap back into them. Maybe we should listen to that voice.
Homo sapiens used to have incredible instincts. It’s how we rose to the top of the food chain. But we’re losing them daily to intellect and emotion.
There is NOTHING WRONG with intellect and emotions btw! I personally struggle with both! But every day I make a conscious effort to listen to my instincts. And anytime I’m working with animals I try to put my brain and emotions in neutral and listen/connect to Mother Nature.
Our challenge for you today is: take a walk with your dog. No phone. No AirPods. No emails or conf calls. No Instagram or Twitter. Just you, your dog, and your instincts. Don’t overthink anything. And don’t worry if the walk isn’t perfect. Just BE with your dog and let your instincts take over. Listen to your gut. I promise you it’s right.