1 hr 6 min

Over Threshold: Supporting the Humans of Reactive Dogs with Jess Adam Mystic Dog Mama

    • Pets & Animals

How can you create emotional sustainability in your life with your dog?

This week’s episode is completely focused on YOU as the dog parent. ESPECIALLY if you’re the parent of a reactive or challenging pup like Lucky. 

My guest today is Jess Adam of Handlers and Humans! Handlers and Humans is all about bringing mental health to the dog world, and Jess is the perfect person to do this! As a licensed psychotherapist, she is also the dog mama to a beautiful 10 yr-old lab-pit mix named Dio, who has experienced his fair share of challenges with anxiety and reactivity, as well as being a lovable, silly, perfect boy. Through Handlers and Humans, Jess brings her skills and experience from the mental health and coaching worlds, to help other dog parents navigate the highs, lows, and various challenges that come with having a dog who struggles a bit with some aspects of the world. She also helps dog trainers know how to better support their human clients.

This is such an important conversation to have. When we have a reactive dog, or a dog with other complex feelings and behaviours, it can be tempting to keep the focus on our dog’s behaviours, their needs, and keeping them under threshold, but I know firsthand, as I’m sure many of you do, too, when we have reactive encounters when we are out with our dogs, we, too, experience the fear, shame, embarrassment, and even trauma associated with those encounters. And this can send us over OUR threshold. Speaking for myself, I know that my nervous system can become just as dysregulated as Lucky’s due to an off-lead dog running up to him, or just because I have to be constantly vigilant, looking out for potential triggers that we need to avoid. It’s exhausting, and it can feel really isolating, so I’m thrilled that Jess is having this conversation today to highlight the need to care for our own mental health, and recognise our own thresholds. She also shares some really great tips for how to do just that.

Jess and I cover a lot of ground: from allowing ourselves to feel the grief that comes when our expectations of having a dog don’t match our experience, to acknowledging the emotional impact of having a reactive dog on us, and finally, to getting to the point where we can see the gifts that lie within life with a complex dog.

I know you are going to get so much out of this episode, and it’s my hope that you leave this feeling seen, as well as having some practical things that you can do today to support yourself on your journey with your dog.

And Don’t forget, I’m holding a giveaway to win a free animal communication session! If you’d like to be considered for the opportunity to win this free animal communication session with me for your pet, all you have to do is rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, take a screenshot of your review, and send it to me on Instagram @mysticdogmama. I’ll draw one lucky name and announce the winner in our special 6-month anniversary episode that airs Saturday, June 8th 2024. To be considered for this, please make sure to send me your screenshot no later than Friday, May 24th, 2024.

https://instagram.com/mysticdogmama



https://www.handlersandhumans.com/

https://www.instagram.com/handlersandhumans



DISCLAIMER: This is not a substitute for medical advice or other relevant professional advice.

TIME STAMPS:

00:22 INTRO

05:37 MEETING JESS ADAM OF HANDLERS AND HUMANS & HER REACTIVE DOG, DIO

14:00 YOU DIDN’T CAUSE YOUR DOG’S REACTIVITY

21:00 WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE OVER THRESHOLD - USEFUL APPROACHES AND TOOLS

38:25 NOBODY NEEDS FIXING, INCLUDING YOUR REACTIVE DOG

43:30 GRIEVING THE LIFE YOU ENVISIONED WITH YOUR DOG

50:00 GUIDING AND STEWARDING OUR DOGS TO LEARN HOW TO LIVE WELL WITH US

1:01:00 WHAT DIO HAS TAUGHT JESS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN

1:06:00 OUTRO + MY 3 TAKEAWAYS

How can you create emotional sustainability in your life with your dog?

This week’s episode is completely focused on YOU as the dog parent. ESPECIALLY if you’re the parent of a reactive or challenging pup like Lucky. 

My guest today is Jess Adam of Handlers and Humans! Handlers and Humans is all about bringing mental health to the dog world, and Jess is the perfect person to do this! As a licensed psychotherapist, she is also the dog mama to a beautiful 10 yr-old lab-pit mix named Dio, who has experienced his fair share of challenges with anxiety and reactivity, as well as being a lovable, silly, perfect boy. Through Handlers and Humans, Jess brings her skills and experience from the mental health and coaching worlds, to help other dog parents navigate the highs, lows, and various challenges that come with having a dog who struggles a bit with some aspects of the world. She also helps dog trainers know how to better support their human clients.

This is such an important conversation to have. When we have a reactive dog, or a dog with other complex feelings and behaviours, it can be tempting to keep the focus on our dog’s behaviours, their needs, and keeping them under threshold, but I know firsthand, as I’m sure many of you do, too, when we have reactive encounters when we are out with our dogs, we, too, experience the fear, shame, embarrassment, and even trauma associated with those encounters. And this can send us over OUR threshold. Speaking for myself, I know that my nervous system can become just as dysregulated as Lucky’s due to an off-lead dog running up to him, or just because I have to be constantly vigilant, looking out for potential triggers that we need to avoid. It’s exhausting, and it can feel really isolating, so I’m thrilled that Jess is having this conversation today to highlight the need to care for our own mental health, and recognise our own thresholds. She also shares some really great tips for how to do just that.

Jess and I cover a lot of ground: from allowing ourselves to feel the grief that comes when our expectations of having a dog don’t match our experience, to acknowledging the emotional impact of having a reactive dog on us, and finally, to getting to the point where we can see the gifts that lie within life with a complex dog.

I know you are going to get so much out of this episode, and it’s my hope that you leave this feeling seen, as well as having some practical things that you can do today to support yourself on your journey with your dog.

And Don’t forget, I’m holding a giveaway to win a free animal communication session! If you’d like to be considered for the opportunity to win this free animal communication session with me for your pet, all you have to do is rate and review the podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, take a screenshot of your review, and send it to me on Instagram @mysticdogmama. I’ll draw one lucky name and announce the winner in our special 6-month anniversary episode that airs Saturday, June 8th 2024. To be considered for this, please make sure to send me your screenshot no later than Friday, May 24th, 2024.

https://instagram.com/mysticdogmama



https://www.handlersandhumans.com/

https://www.instagram.com/handlersandhumans



DISCLAIMER: This is not a substitute for medical advice or other relevant professional advice.

TIME STAMPS:

00:22 INTRO

05:37 MEETING JESS ADAM OF HANDLERS AND HUMANS & HER REACTIVE DOG, DIO

14:00 YOU DIDN’T CAUSE YOUR DOG’S REACTIVITY

21:00 WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU ARE OVER THRESHOLD - USEFUL APPROACHES AND TOOLS

38:25 NOBODY NEEDS FIXING, INCLUDING YOUR REACTIVE DOG

43:30 GRIEVING THE LIFE YOU ENVISIONED WITH YOUR DOG

50:00 GUIDING AND STEWARDING OUR DOGS TO LEARN HOW TO LIVE WELL WITH US

1:01:00 WHAT DIO HAS TAUGHT JESS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN

1:06:00 OUTRO + MY 3 TAKEAWAYS

1 hr 6 min