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Family Dog Mediation? What's that?

By Andrew Marrongoni FDM -- All Together Better

If you share your life with a dog, chances are that at some point you may choose to ask for some additional support from a professional. There are many ways to influence the behavior of animals but looking at the big picture of who the animal is and what they bring to the table can provide information on the best ways to approach behavior change. Recently, a new fresh take has emerged from the lens of applied ethology. The Family Dog Meditation practice has opened the eyes of many professionals across the globe.

medium sized light brown dog panting in the sun wearing a blue harness

The Family Dog Mediation's L.E.G.S model of dog evaluation was developed by Kim Brophey, a canine behavior consultant, and trainer. L.E.G.S stands for Learning, Environment, Genetics, and Self. The model provides a holistic approach to evaluating a dog's behavior by considering the interplay between these four factors.

Learning refers to the dog's experiences and how they have learned to respond to various stimuli in their environment. This can include positive reinforcement training to teach them various skills or expectations in the world or negative experiences that may have led to fear or aggression.

Environment considers the physical and social environment in which the dog lives, including factors such as their living conditions, daily routine, and the social interactions they have within their environment (like with people, other dogs, and other animals).

Genetics considers the dog's breed and individual genetic makeup, which can influence their behavior and temperament. Is this dog a breed that was bred for specific genetic behaviors? Or was this dog a product of parent dogs who had specific genetic behaviors?

Self refers to the dog's individual personality and emotional state, including their level of confidence, fearfulness, and anxiety.

By evaluating a dog's behavior through the lens of the L.E.G.S model, FDM professionals can help identify key factors about your dog and create a behavior change plan with their needs in mind. Basically, the L.E.G.S model is designed to be a comprehensive understanding of the dog, leading to more effective behavior modification and training strategies.


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