Enlightened by Dogs Podcast

EBD252 When Your Dog is “Protecting” You in a Damaging Way

What is the best thing to do when your dog is “protecting” you in an unwanted way that is damaging to you physically and emotionally?

Today, Kathy is sharing a segment from a coaching call in from her Brilliant Partners Academy to discuss this exact situation…

This dog mom has a retired service dog who is feeling anxious right now, due to an allergy flareup, a new puppy in the family, and stress all around. Lola (the dog) has lately started overprotecting her human mom when delivery people come to their door. She is pulling really, really hard and almost pulling Diane out of her wheelchair.

Kathy works through the details and talks her student through the difference between when a dog is protecting us because it’s clearly unsafe and we appreciate their protection, and when a dog is dangerously taking on a protective role unnecessarily.

What do we do? Well, there’s this balance between permissive and clear and kind. We can focus on finding a balance that brings freedom and responsibility together, in order to create positive and lasting change in our family.

In this episode:

  • Managing Lola’s stress and anxiety, implementing self-care strategies, and supporting each individual in the family.
  • Strategies for preparation in advance of deliveries, using an emergency rescue as needed, while focusing on long-term solutions.
  • Understanding how to be a clear, kind & confident loving leader for your anxious dog who doesn’t know what to do about their emotions.

Memorable Quotes:

“It’s easy to forget how hard it is to adjust to a new family configuration. Just like us, our dogs need time to adapt and recalibrate. It’s important to create a peaceful family dynamic during this time.”

“Having strategies to maintain safety, calm, and cooperation in advance will prevent explosive reactions from our dogs. It’s important to be proactive and guide them in a calm, clear, and positive way.”

“Our dogs’ behavior can often be a reflection of their physical and emotional state, so taking steps to help them feel better can lead to a happier and calmer home.”

“Even though our dogs can’t speak to us, they communicate their needs and feelings in other ways. It’s important to listen and work together to find solutions that will help both us and our dogs.”

“Being a loving leader for your dog requires clarity, kindness, and love.”


Become a calm and confident Dog Mom with a cooperative, happy dog … without obedience training, or relying on treats or arousing games, or corrections of any type.

Here are some next steps:

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