Dancing Hearts Blog

How a First-Time Dog Mom Learned to Listen to her Reactive Dog

How a First-Time Dog Mom Learned to Listen to her Reactive Dog

Paulina is a first-time dog mom who found herself with a reactive dog that she just didn’t understand.

Barking at other dogs, and barking at things outside the window in their city home caused Paulina to judge herself and to compare her dog with others … creating more frustration for both of them.

Now? Paulina says…

BPA had a big impact on me understanding Badi’s behaviors. Now when I just look at him, I know what he wants to communicate. With listening, we built more trust in each other.

I feel much more comfortable in situations that I would freak about in the past. I learned that giving him the opportunity to make a choice is beneficial for both of us. And it is also teaching him to be more responsible, which is good, because I don’t have to control everything, and it makes me calmer and happier. “

In this post, you’ll hear all about how this first-time dog mom learned to listen and love her reactive dog named Badi.


Badi and the big city

Paulina and Badi live in a flat near the city of Warsaw in Poland. As you can imagine, it’s a very big city, which means it’s very busy. Before adopting Badi, Paulina was more of a cat person. She never owned a dog before and had no experience with dogs whatsoever.

So, when this cute little puppy with big innocent eyes joined her and her cat in their flat, Paulina was excited. She assumed that because Badi was a puppy, he would love everybody – including other dogs. However, she quickly realized that this wasn’t the case.

Badi was a very reactive dog to other dogs outside of the house and visitors to the house. Whenever the doorbell rang, Badi would jump up and bark hysterically. He would even bark when he heard footsteps in the building and since they lived in a flat, there was always noise from the neighbors.

All of this was very frustrating for Paulina, who was a first-time dog mom with no idea how to handle the situation. While inside, he barked whenever someone came to the door (including the postman) and while he was outside, he barked at other dogs.

Paulina and Badi started to work with a dog behaviorist. However, when the lady came to the door, Badi refused to let her inside!

She was standing next to the front door and I had to drag him away so she could enter the house. He freaked out and he was so disconnected from everything. I was shocked and it was so terrifying for him that when I think about it now, I wish I hadn’t let that situation happen.


How life has changed since joining BPA

Paulina was introduced to the Brilliant Partners Academy when she joined one of the free workshops we host throughout the year. Since then, Paulina and her husband have seen dramatic changes in Badi’s behavior.

They are able to walk him a lot easier with less pulling. Although Badi is no angel 100% of the time on the leash, he has improved greatly and keeps getting better. One of Badi’s biggest issues was barking at other dogs. This is something that Paulina worked on with Badi using BPA principles and best practices.

Now, Badi does not bark at other dogs in the same way that she once did. He has also become much more relaxed in the home and doesn’t get as anxious when he hears people walking up and down the stairs in their building.

Paulina worked on creating boundaries for Badi. For example, he is no longer to exit the front floor of the flat or building first. Instead of bolting ahead, he waits quietly at the door.

There was one situation when I opened my door and a child ran across my door. Badi just stood there and he didn’t react. He waited at the door to be released to go and I was so amazed!

Before joining BPA, Badi refused to let anyone inside the flat and he despised the postman. To help Badi overcome his fears of visitors, Paulina followed the safe, calm, and happy protocol and role modeled for him. Badi soon learned that visitors were not something to be afraid of and it wasn’t long before Badi became “the happiest dog waiting for a package delivery.”


How a First-Time Dog Mom Learned to Listen to her Reactive Dog


Embracing the Safe, Calm, and Happy Protocol

The Safe, Calm, and Happy Protocol is something I teach inside of the BPA and Paulina expressed how much this protocol has helped her bond with Badi.

My goal is just to make him happy and I believe that safe and calm will come along, because I really want to see this big smile on his face.”

A large part of the protocol is role modeling for your dog. This involves showing your dog how to behave in certain situations and remaining calm when the unexpected happens. In some cases, your dog may also start role modeling for you too!

I’m sometimes role modeling for him, and there are times when he’s role modeling for me.”

Our dogs are amazing teachers if we just pay attention and learn to listen!

Paulina and Badi’s lives have changed for the better. Here’s what Paulina had to say about the Brilliant Partners Academy:

You realize that there are so many areas that you can you didn’t even think about that. You can understand your dog on a much deeper level. I didn’t have any training experience. I never had a dog, so I can tell you from a person who was lucky to find BPA, it’s truly amazing… I love this group. I love how people are so supportive.”

It’s really amazing because this is a great community where people are supporting each other, even though most of us have never met… I can learn from their stories. I’m so grateful that I’m here… the partnership lifestyle is literally the best thing.”

I hope you enjoyed hearing Paulina and Badi’s transformative story as much as I did!

If you’d love to join our community and get coached and learn the details of how you can implement and start to live a partnership lifestyle based on trust, love, and cooperation without obedience training, get on the waitlist!


If you’d like to work with me and learn how to create a partnership lifestyle for you and your dog, you can request an invitation to join us in the Brilliant Partners Academy when the doors open for the next enrolment!

You can listen to everything I talked about in this blog post over on my podcast – Enlightened By Dogs. It’s episode 121, which you can listen to here

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