We tend to live up to, or down to, others expectations, and our animals are no different. If we have an expectation that we’ll come home to find cat potty on the new rug, there is a good chance we will. Joan Ranquet calls this the bad-biofeedback loop, and if you’ve been in any of her classes you may have been lucky enough to hear her talk about it. Essentially it explains how our animals behave how we expect them to – good or bad.RPK Tramplin
But what if we are limiting the capabilities of our animals because we just don’t think they can do better?
Since I work in an office full-time, I either go home directly from work to let Buddy out or arrange for someone else to do so. Last night I asked one of the students living with me to do this, which she gladly obliged.
However when I got home, she excitedly told me they took Buddy on a walk to PCC. PCC?! That’s so far! Was he tired? I asked. No. Did he pant a lot? No.
No, he managed to get through it just fine.
I’ve often thought of walking Buddy to PCC, but thought it’s just too far! His hips are too sore, his paws have too many sores, he’s too out of shape. Could I have been wrong all this time? Yes.
I seemed to forget that just last year he hiked with me in the Cascades. Somehow I got into the mindset that he just can’t walk very far, I lowered the walk expectation to just a few blocks without even realizing it.
Have you lowered the expectations of your animals? We all want to feel useful, purposeful and able to do our best, lets help them reach their potential!