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Your Dog Is Your Mirror

Leah Lykos

Heal Your Dog, Heal Yourself

In this increasingly busy world where people are experiencing so much burnout, dogs provide us with an essential connection to our emotional selves. They show us how to stay connected to nature; to live, play, and love in a truly embodied way.

For our canine companions there is no separation between mind and body. Their physical bodies and their behavior are true expressions of the present moment.

Dogs, like us, suffer in this overly domesticated world. That's why we're seeing so many behavioral issues with dogs struggling to live in the confines of our homes. My practice with dogs is essentially a type of somatic therapy that helps them to retain their natural presence. This, in turn, provides the human with a stable and connected partner.

We can also see our dogs as reflections of us. The dog constantly responds to our own emotional energy, and imbalances are shown to you in a physical form. When we listen to what our dogs are actually trying to tell us, we can gain insights into our own emotional world.

So by taking the time to heal our dogs through play, and communicate with them by building a foundation of trust, we are actually learning how to simultaneously heal ourselves through the important practices of connecting and co-regulating.

Even though I call myself a dog trainer, I'm really a relationship coach. Having a harmonious relationship with a dog can provide so many people with the love and support they need as we are ever more isolated and stressed by the world around us.

I teach people a series of somatic exercises to help bring their dog into the present moment and into his body, thereby healing reactivity, aggression, and fear. I encourage people to look at their dog as a mirror, and to gain insight about their own emotional health by responding to the needs of their dog.

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