Enlightened by Dogs Podcast

EBD267 [ENCORE] Anxious Dog Mom with Intense Border Collie Brings Unexpected Blessings

In this guest edition of Enlightened by Dogs, Kathy introduces Erin who tells us about her journey with her unexpectedly intense Border Collie, Jess.

Erin, a lovely member of the Brilliant Partners Academy, picked up Jess with the hope of love, joy, and adventure. To start off with, things were really hard! Jess’ behaviors left Erin feeling anxious, stressed, and even panicked at times.

It all started when they brought home a border collie bundle of joy they named Jess. The puppy was intense and without major ‘issues’, but Erin was feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and often panicked. She was exhausted with worry about making mistakes and thousands of ‘worse-case scenarios’ played over and over in her mind. Every small behavior issue with the puppy felt BIG, and like a crisis for Erin. Buying books and enrolling in courses and looking for advice to ‘fix’ everything only left her feeling worried, exhausted, and stressed out.

They are in a completely different place now, and Erin shared: “These days, I feel so much calmer and happier – I love life with my wee dog! We are doing great, we love each other and I know we can figure anything out together. We enjoy our walks and adventures and cuddles. I trust her so she is off-lead and exploring so much more which she loves. My relationship with Jess is 90% joyful, loving, and fun, rather than 90% worried, stressed, upset, and frustrated like before.”

There is so much to take away from this interview, so jump right in!

Key Takeaways:

  • How Erin’s constant worry and confusion about doing the right thing was lifted
  • Dealing with an intense puppy brings more than expected
  • How Erin and Jess rebuilt their life together, and now enjoy a safe, calm, and happy relationship

Memorable Quotes:

“She was up every couple of hours through the night, wanting reassurance. I didn’t feel equipped to deal with that. Now I feel I know how to respond.”

“I’ve got a little way to go. But things don’t freak me out anymore. That’s the difference.”

“Trust what feels right for you. It might not be my approach. It could be something else.”


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

Here are some next steps:

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