Don’t Run Away
When you start running away from an angry dog, there is a good chance that you could solicit the instinctual predator response. He may launch into pursuit, because that’s the hunter in his blood. Furthermore, by running away, you are empowering the dog and reinforcing the behavior of barking at strangers. You might try to make a break for it, but it’s very unlikely that you are going to outrun the dog. The harder the run, the greater the predator drive will become in the dog and he will inevitably catch up to you and bite you in the rear end.
One of the first things that we can learn from the Dog Whisperer is that we should express a calm and assertive energy. Rather than running from the dog, you can choose to face it with this kind of energy, exerting your leadership role over the dog.
Assess the Situation
Did you know that when most dogs are barking at you that they are not at all angry at you? They may simply be defending their territory, reminding you that you should not intrude into their yard. They want you to acknowledge their presence. If you stand your ground with calm and assertive energy, most dogs will eventually stop barking. You just need some patience to resolve the conflict and then both of you can move on with your lives.
So, what does all of this have to do with the way that you should approach life in general. If you imagine that the raving pitbull is some sort of problem, issue, or weakness in your life, the strategy that you use to address it can be exactly the same as how you would address the barking dog. If you try to run away from your problems, it will come back with even greater energy and bite you in the rear end. Instead, face your problems head on and deal with them. Don’t respond with anger or fear; respond with a calm, assertive energy.
Exercise Damage Control
Left unattended, it is very easy for a small issue to become an increasingly large one. You really could make a mountain out of a molehill if you don’t pay attention to it. Instead, address the problem in its infancy, minimize the power that it exerts over you, and move on with your life.
Let’s illustrate this with a customer service example. If a certain courier would have taken care of the situation better, I would not have written the blog post admonishing their customer service capabilities.
On the flip side, I got frustrated being on hold with Westjet for over half an hour a while back and I sent out a tweet saying this. Almost right away, the official Westjet Twitter account sent me a direct message asking if there was anything they could do to help. I told them what I needed and they said that they would take care of it. Damage control. They nipped the problem in the bud and, thus, I still have a relatively positive view of their company.
Face the Pitbull
No one said that life was going to be easy, nor should it be. We will all encounter a wide range of problems and issues as we make our way through our lives, but the key is not to run away from them. Face them like how you should face a pitbull and take away its mounting aggression and power.
Note: I just want to mention that the pitbull breed has been mal-aligned in popular culture and this is not justified. There are perfectly balanced pitbulls out there who can make fantastic family pets. It’s up to the owners to respect the breed and treat the dogs accordingly.