Animals live in the moment. Their minds are not fogged up with past experiences or with what might happen!
Humans are consumed with negative possibilities and excuses for their dog’s behavior. I have been guilty of this, I’ll admit… but I’m working on it! Every dog walker with an aggressive, hyper, barking (misbehaved, etc) dog (if not embarrassed into silence), will come up with, “Sorry, he was attacked by a dog once and now he hates other dogs.” or “She was abused!” or “She is just sooo mischievous! Isn’t she cute??? Oh come on, let them play!”
While a bad experience in your dog’s past is, of course, unfortunate and sad, it’s not what’s causing your dog’s behavior. The cause is an absence of balance in their life. Perhaps they were balanced before their accident (of whatever kind – it really almost doesn’t matter). Then, afterwards, you became unstable as the owner: you began to worry, nurture, and not support your dog’s forward progress. Your dog doesn’t see this as comforting. To them it simply means that you have become weak and vulnerable and now they have to take care of you. It’s stressful to them, if anything.
In most cases, the dog is not a natural leader. So when he or she forces themselves into a leader role, they become frantic and unstable because there is no balance. They are a nervous leader (not a calm, cool and collected one) and that is why they hysterically yip and yap and bark at every dog who passes by – they have no idea what to do or what their role is in your “pack”. In the end, they are a tired dog. They have to do all this work because they think you can’t protect them or yourself. So it’s actually not fair for your dog, yet people think the dog is working through some traumatic experience… no. That’s the owner living in the past and preventing the dog from relaxing and moving on.
Take the huge work load off your tired dog’s shoulders! Don’t nurture fear, nervousness, aggression or any form of “unbalance”. Stay calm, correct them to get them out of their state and move on. Live in the moment. React. Return to relaxation. (It takes practice – be patient!!)