Enlightened by Dogs Podcast

EBD253 Reactive or Role Model? Dogs Look to Us for Clues

There are lots of things that can happen outside our home that can set our dogs off on a barking or reactive spiral that disrupts the peace. Landscapers, construction workers, things in the sky, oh my! The good news is that our dogs look to us for clues for how to behave, so when we are a solid role model, it can change everything!

In this episode, Kathy will share some real-life examples with her own dogs, where she was able to be a role model for her dogs and prevent reactive behavior from developing or escalating.

Because dogs easily mirror our behavior, that means that when we learn to be responsible for our own behavior, our dogs start to learn ‘how we do things’.  Kathy gives you three really clear examples that you use in your own life with your dogs.

In order for role modeling to work well with your own dogs, you’ll need to start with some foundation principles. Take note of the four steps Kathy shares as your takeaway action steps to get started.

In this episode:

  • Kathy gives a few personal examples of how she acts as a role model for her dogs
  • Why we need to address our own behavior first
  • Why giving our dogs freedom to choose to follow our lead is so powerful
  • 4 steps to get started being a role model your dog loves to follow

Memorable Quotes:

“My dogs know to look to me for guidance on how we respond to this unique situation.”

“When we role model for our dogs, we’re literally communicating with our thoughts, our emotions, and with our actions: this is no concern of ours.”

“Dogs naturally mirror our behavior. That means that we need to be responsible for our behavior.”

“All good relationships and partnerships are based on trust. When our dogs trust us to be good role models, they will follow our lead.”


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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