Remember, we are more than one archetype. If you haven’t read my information about archetypes, please read this first.
Teacher animals are great to have in a house or foster facility to help convey the house expectations to the new arrivals. You’ll know these true teachers by their patience and determination. While a lot of elder or senior animals (hierarchy, not age) will help keep the newbies in line, not all of them are really teachers deep down. Wander into a doggy daycare with astute attendants and they can show you the teachers in the room because they’ll be guiding the other dogs.
The teacher/mentor/wise one is equally good to sit alone and observe the people interacting in the home, and they are good to help rear a new puppy. It’s entirely possible to have a teacher/wise one in your home as the only animal, and when this happens they often turn to you for stimulating conversation. The problem could be you don’t know what they want.
Being so interested in having and passing on knowledge, this archetype is particularly sensitive to being tricked or fooled about something. They are trusting you to show them the truth, so don’t intentionally try to mislead them.
To help your teacher/mentor be most successful in the home, let them show their knowledge. Use caution if they lean towards easily feeling tricked. You might also use intellectual games (yes, you can buy these for your pet!), or it might be as simple as training them to bring the newspaper so you can read it to them. I have met quite a few dogs and cats that love to be read to, so don’t discount that if it seems to make them happy. Look for jobs that will use their brain and wisdom, such as with the games mentioned, or a literal teaching job.
If your teacher starts to seem a bit arrogant and impatient, they are taking this archetype too far and will need to be relieved of the teacher duties and balanced out with their other archetypes. Another way they might carry it too far is if they seem disconnected when once they fully embraced teaching. This is similar to a human’s becoming apathetic because “kids these days are just so impossible!” So, lighten that teacher load and play up something else so they can re-balance.
Seeming disconnected might also be a sign of perfectionism; they don’t want to act until the situation is exactly right, so keep tabs on that and encourage them, allowing for mistakes. I just had a client that is clearly a teacher, yet lately his person said he wasn’t interacting much with the other dogs. After our discussion, it became clear that he had some doubts about the current house rules because he saw an outcome to a situation between two other dogs that didn’t make sense to him, so he was questioning what he knew and what his role was.
Not only does this remind us to be aware of how our animals are acting, but also in always being consistent and being clear on house expectations.
That’s how we are, and that’s how the animals are: different archetypes emerging at different times. Pay attention to the strongest qualities that your animal shows, and remember to play up or down the different qualities as needed.
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