First Free Interaction With Strong-Natured Dog
This is their first time to run free together, but I kept a long line on sable GSD in order to be safe and I positioned an old dog crate for Huuney to run into if she felt overwhelmed as these can often serve as innate "time out" spots that lets a dog emotionally restore and naturally inhibits the follower from escalating. But it proved unnecessary. In fact, I also had the bite toy in play as an emotional ground because in this instance given Huuney's mastery of flipping and flopping, I felt it would give both dogs an object as an emotional fulcrum so that they could communicate if they were feeling stressed, without having to act it out on each other. What is especially compelling and gratifying to me is to see how relaxed Huuney is when she's crowded over the toy. This here speaks to Drive, which is about potential energy, as opposed to instinct which would be about guarding a resource. So when the GSD crowds Huuney over the toy, she feels the emotional leverage she enjoys and so she is safe to do nothing, but moreover, she can feel more energy from the approach of the dog, rather than sensing a disconnect between her and the toy. So she loves the toy for the energy it represents, but the dog represents even more energy so who cares about the toy, it's just a fulcrum for communication. Likewise, because the GSD is so sensually aroused to Huuney, his instinctual need for the toy is wholly neutralized. He feels the potential for more energy from the other dog than for the toy. I should point out that when I first gave him the toy he would shake it relentlessly, almost knocking himself over. He was intoxicated with the "high" of the weightlessness of all the countervailing forces he was generating with the shaking and thrashing. This kept him addicted to the toy and locked into the old loading/overloading paradigm. But all that is neutralized by feeling sensual and aroused to Huuney. Thus, he is completely absorbed in smelling where she has been lying and there's no tension about the toy. Finally, he sticks his wet nose in the "hot socket" of a good ol' girl and yet it has no unbalancing effect on him because IN THIS CONTEXT his hunger circuitry is his predominant means of apprehension. The goal is to keep exercising the trust muscle so that it can hold onto the feeling of potential energy no-matter-what. Then the dog generalizes to all contexts and we can say that he is healed.