Enlightened By Dogs with Kathy Kawalec

40 Episodes

By: Kathy Kawalec

Welcome to the Enlightened by Dogs podcast…where training and behavior meet Heart and Soul for an inspirational and educational journey. Each week, we’ll take a dive deep into the human-dog connection and explore strategies that will inspire you to create legendary, enlightened partnership with your dog. Kathy Kawalec has always had a deep resounding connection with dogs and she has devoted her life to being their voice in a world where not many are TRULY listening. Her lifelong journey led Kathy to become an expert in dog behavior, positive training, holistic healing, the human-dog bond, the mind-body-spirit connection, and...

Being an Intentional Human

How you treat your dog and others is directly informed by who you are.

So, the next important question is, are you simply “who you are” or “who you truly want to be?”

The difference between the two lies in your genuine heart’s desires — what do you value? What qualities are actually important to you? The answer to these questions fuels your conscious intention to be the person you’ve always wanted to be.

In this episode of the Enlightened by Dogs podcast, Kathy discusses how understanding what’s important to you feeds into your...

Protecting Your Dog's Social Confidence - Part 3

Naturally, you want your dog to feel safe, calm, and happy as much as possible. But stressful situations are part of life as we know it. Often, these situations affect you long before your dog gets triggered and end up provoking a cascade of thoughts that could sever your connection with your dog.

How do we control these thoughts and, in turn, ensure that our dogs don’t learn to be anxious or reactive in stressful situations? It all starts with a conscious decision to focus on the connection you share at that moment. In this episode, Ka...

Protecting Your Dog's Social Confidence - Part 2

You want to protect your dog from traumatic situations just as you want to protect all your loved ones. But, as we all know, it’s not always possible to prevent bad things from happening. So, when an unfortunate incident does happen, how can you help your dog move past it?

Building your dog’s social confidence back up after a traumatic event requires a lot of trust from both you and your dog. In this episode, Kathy explores the ways in which you can work together to bank trust, grow confidence, and prepare against or recover from...

Protecting Your Dog's Social Confidence - Part 1

Did you know that your puppy or young dog is at the most impressionable stage of their life?

They’re experiencing most things for the first time, which is thrilling! But it’s equally scary because unpleasant experiences can have a long-lasting impact on how they experience ordinary life events moving forward. So, we need to be intentionally mindful of our puppies and young dogs, until they’re confident and resilient enough to stand on their own paws.

In this first episode of a three-part series, Kathy highlights the importance of building your dog’s social c...

Let Your Dog Reduce Your Stress

It’s no secret that our dogs make us feel happy and safe, that’s one of the many reasons we’re on this partnership journey with them.

Have you ever wondered if we do the same for them?

The connection we share with our dogs is a two-way street, but it’s often easy to forget that their idea of ‘happy and safe’ is quite different from what we think it is.

In this episode of the Enlightened By Dogs podcast, Kathy explores the premise that we may be unintentionally keeping our dogs from do...

What To Do When Your Leashed Dog Is Triggered

How do you react when your dog is triggered by external factors while you’re enjoying a walk together?

The answer is almost never the same across the board, however, a common mistake is to react to the trigger alongside our dogs. Unfortunately, we can’t guard our dogs against all the potential triggers in the world. What we can do is offer support.

In this episode of the Enlightened By Dogs podcast, Kathy explains how staying connected with our dogs in these situations can be beneficial. She also runs us through some useful tips for...

Agency, Choices and Freedom for Our Dogs

Creating clear opportunities for our dogs to say yes or no brings us one step closer to that brilliant life we want with them.

This may seem a bit odd, especially since we live in a world where having a well-trained dog is considered a badge of honor. However, the true badge of honor is earned when our dogs choose to be responsible as opposed to being trained to be responsible.

Realizing they have a choice doesn’t only help our dogs feel more in control, it also introduces more trust into your partnership.


6 Ways to Build Resilience

When did you last think about resiliency in terms of your partnership with your dog? Unfortunately for most people, the answer is "never".

Life tends to throw curveballs every now and then, both in the human and dog communities. How you deal with these unfortunate occurrences is a function of your resiliency. But what does this mean for your partnership with your dog?

In this episode of the Enlightened By Dogs podcast, Kathy explains the importance of resiliency in building a strong and successful partnership with your dog. She also explores various sources of your...

A Tribute to Our Dogs

Our dogs give us so much, don’t they? Each day they make our lives better. Every time we connect with them, admire them, appreciate them, we experience a love of life unlike anything else.

In this special episode, Kathy invites you to join her in sharing gratitude and appreciation for your dog. She also shares two materials dear to her heart and pays tribute to her dogs and her relationship with them.

Take a comfy, quiet seat, and grab a pen and paper, ready to note down your thoughts during this emotional and insightful ep...

Using the Power of Curiosity to Increase Connection with Your Dog

When was the last time you felt truly awe-inspired?

Awe is a complex emotion, and tapping into its power can do amazing things for you and your relationships. It encourages us to be curious, think outside of the box, and generates feelings of inspiration that can help us believe that almost anything is possible. But how does this relate to your partnership with your dog?

In this episode, Kathy talks about her daily G.L.A. practice and how it impacts her connection with her dogs. She also shares a few ideas about how you...

An Unbreakable Bond

What does your connection with your dog do for your life? Does it help you be a better partner? A better person?

Your bond with your dog is powerful. But facilitating this amazing and transformative connection isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes we can lose focus on living our happiest lives with our dog and get lost chasing the ideals of a “perfect dog” instead.

In this episode, Kathy shares her tips for maintaining or re-finding your partnership’s focus and reframing your mindset about your unbreakable bond. She also talks about why acceptance is key to findi...

How to Help Your Dog Self-Regulate

Did you know that a feeling of disconnection from our dogs could be what’s causing them to be anxious or reactive?

Humans and dogs are wired to seek connection. It’s part of our quest to find safety and comfort in our lives, and if that connection is disrupted, anxiety and stress start to kick in. We get lost in ‘the red zone.’

In this episode of the Enlightened By Dogs podcast, Kathy explores the idea of co-regulation between humans and our dogs and how this relates to our nervous system. She explains how we can e...

Why Your Dog Won’t Listen

What do you do when you feel like your dog just isn’t hearing you?

All behavior is communication, so how your dog responds to you (or doesn’t respond to you) is a type of behavior that could be trying to communicate something. But it can be challenging not to take it personally when you feel like your dog isn’t listening to you at all.

In this episode, Kathy shares how reframing your thoughts can transform how you interpret your dog’s listening skills and get you back to a place of trust. She also...

Communicating With Your Dog On Purpose

Communication is the single most powerful tool we have for connecting with others but are you aware of how you’re communicating?

Any time you interact with your dog – or anyone you have a relationship with – you’re exchanging messages that can either lead to success or struggles. This might be conscious or unconscious, as both you and your dog speak to each other in ways that go far beyond verbal communication!

In this episode, Kathy dives deep into what it means to communicate with your dog. She talks about why considering the intention behind your dog...

Stop Leaking Trust and Confidence with 3 Clarity Questions

Trust and confidence are crucial ingredients to a loving, happy, and healthy partnership with our dogs.

Our dogs trust us with a lot, so we need to be good leaders and worthy of that trust. This means we should try to avoid leaking trust and confidence with our dogs.

When our dogs trust us to lead the way, they feel safer, more secure, and confident. If they don’t and we put them in stressful scenarios, they can become reactive and unhappy.

In this episode of the Enlightened By Dogs podcast, Kathy shares in...

4 Steps to Emotional Balance

How does your emotional intelligence affect your relationship with your dog?

Your dog can teach you so much about how to be in the world, and one of the big things you can learn is how to step more fully into your innate, emotional intelligence.

In this episode, Kathy explains why finding emotional balance is key to being a loving leader and how it can help you on the way to achieving your dream partnership with your dog. She also talks about how socially intelligent animals model emotional management through their “get back to grazing” resp...

Connecting Heart-to-Heart

In our busy lives, sometimes we need to just pause and reflect. How we are and how we act can have a huge effect on our relationship with our dogs.

So, if you want to start working more on your partnership with your dog, it all starts with you.

In this episode, Kathy walks through several simple exercises to help you explore who you are and who you want to be as a dog mom. These exercises will help you gain a clearer understanding so you can forge a stronger heart-to-heart connection with your dog.<...

How to Be A Better Listener for Your Dog

What does it mean to be heard?

Both you and your dog are social mammals and so have a deep need to be understood and cared for. Meeting this need can help you live the brilliant partnership with your dog that you dream of.

In this episode, Kathy discusses how real listening can help you stay calm and connected to your dog and why it’s one of the four core daily practices from the Brilliant Partners Academy.

She also talks about the relationship between listening and leadership and how to embrace being th...

Lessons from A Reactive Dog with Paulina Grzesinska-Mrozek

Living with a reactive dog can be a frustrating experience, and as a first-time dog mom, it can be a confusing one as well.

In this episode of Enlightened By Dogs, Kathy revisits a conversation she had with first-time dog mom and BPA member Paulina Grzesinska-Mrozek.

Paulina was struggling with her dog Badi, who was very reactive to other dogs and people both in their apartment and on walks. After trying her luck with a behaviorist (who Badi wouldn’t even let in the apartment), Paulina tried the Brilliant Partners Academy.

And she ha...

From Reactive Dogs to Remarkable Partners with Ros Swallow

Having one reactive dog can be challenging enough but imagine adding another one into the mix!

In this Enlightened By Dogs episode, Kathy revisits a conversation she had with Ros Swallow, proud dog mom to two beautiful (yet highly reactive) Hungarian Vizslas.

Ros had tried everything and had adapted her lifestyle to try and keep her dogs calm. Yet, she felt overwhelmed with anxiety whenever she took them out for a walk. People, dogs, bikes, and everything in between would always trigger panic and reactivity in her dogs.

Ros eventually took a leap...

Part 5 of 5 - The Summer Series on The Power of Partnership

Do you have a clear vision and dream for the life you want with your dog?

Staying committed to the partnership of your dreams begins with some clarity on what your dreams actually look like.

This marks the final part of Kathy’s five-part blog and podcast series, “The Summer Series on The Power of Partnership.” In this series, Kathy has been sharing some simple partnership principles that will help you forge a much closer bond between you and your dog.

In this episode, we return to Mary (an avatar client and proud dog mo...

The Summer Series on The Power of Partnership Part 4 of 5

Part of living in a true partnership is to work towards some kind of common purpose. Yet, it’s something that a lot of us don’t think about when it comes to our dogs.

Welcome back to part four of Kathy’s five-part series, ‘The Summer Series on The Power of Partnership.’ Over the course of this series, Kathy has been sharing some simple and highly effective partnership principles to help you forge the partnership you’ve always wanted with your dog.

We’re returning to Mary and Max’s story. Mary’s a dog mom and avatar...

The Summer Series on The Power of Partnership - Part 3 of 5

Transitioning into a new way of being with your dog isn’t always like going from A to B. Sometimes there are a few bumps in the road along the way. But what do you do when you make a mistake?

It’s normal to get knocked off-course when you’re moving towards something new. However, how you deal with those moments will determine how difficult it will be to get to where you want to go.

This is the third of five installments in the ongoing blog and podcast series, “The Summer Series on The Powe...

The Summer Series on The Power of Partnership - Part 2 of 5

What’s the key to any successful partnership or relationship?

That’s right. It’s all about communication!

Communication is what ties your partnership with your dog together, so you’re both happy and healthy.

This is part two of Kathy’s ongoing podcast series, “The Summer Series on The Power of Partnership.” In this series, Kathy shares some simple partnership principles that you can easily incorporate in your day-to-day life with your dog.

Each episode will follow Mary, an avatar client and dog mom, who’s facing some challenges with her dog, Max.

The Summer Series on The Power of Partnership - Part 1 of 5

How much clarity do you have about you and your dog’s partnership right now?

It’s easier to work out where you’re going once you know where you are. That’s why getting clear on which areas of your partnership could do with some work is a vital first step on your journey to a happier life together.

In this first episode of a five-part summer series, Kathy introduces us to Mary, a dog mom facing some tough challenges. Kathy explains how Mary got clear on the issues she had with her dog Max, and...

Are You Trying Too Hard to Connect with Your Dog?

Are you struggling to form a solid heart-to-heart connection with your dog?

It could be a simple case of trying too hard or overthinking it. If we’re distracted, focused on other things, or too busy, this can affect the close partnership we all dream of having with our dogs. 

Sometimes it pays to really step back and take some time to reflect on your perspective and how you role model for your dog.

In this episode of the Enlightened By Dogs podcast, Kathy shares some of the simple things standing in the way...

Life Lessons From A Junkyard Dog

Sometimes we just get so caught up in the drama, urgencies, to-do lists, and life’s responsibilities that we forget what’s truly important.

We can even get lost in an idea of how our dogs are supposed to be. We fixate on how they’re meant to look and behave without even realizing that it’s all down to choice.

In this episode of Enlightened By Dogs, Kathy takes you through a simple way to change your perspective on life in general, but more specifically, with your relationship with your dog.

Kathy shares s...

How to Help Your Dog Stay Calm Instead of Reactive

Are things a little crazy around your home right now?

During the summer months, many of us start remodeling, landscaping, gardening, or doing construction work on our homes.

This can cause many dogs to become reactive to the new activities and environment around them. Lots of new noises, people, smells, and a disruption to their routine can make even the calmest dogs antsy. Many may bark more than usual or become a bit over-excited or stressed during this time.

If you’re struggling to help your dog stay calm, tune in to this ep...

Helping an Easily Over-Aroused Dog with Andrea Baumann

If your dog struggles with over-arousal, you’ll be no stranger to emotional outbursts. Overwhelming experiences like these can trigger anxieties that make it difficult for you and your dog to move forward. But life with a reactive dog doesn’t have to be this way.

When Andrea Baumann got her standard poodle, Tobias, she dreamed he would become her service dog. Andrea was aware of Tobias’ over-arousal and was prepared to help him overcome this so that one day, he could help her.

But over time, Tobias’ reactivity got worse. Andrea turned to the Brillian...

From Family Dog Fights to Family Harmony with Alicia Martin

Establishing a partnership with your dog when they have behavior issues can be a real challenge. But what about building a partnership with 13 dogs all with their own unique needs?

Rescuing or fostering a dog can be such a rewarding experience that it’s no wonder people get hooked! Over the last 7 years, BPA member Alicia Martin has fostered over 60 dogs – but not all went on to other homes. Alicia is now in service of 13 foster fails, otherwise known as her family pack of lovable misfits.

There were many underlying reasons why some of these dogs...

Get Back to Grazing

Does your dog often get over-excited or easily stressed? Does that feeling pass onto you, and before you know it, you’re both stuck feeling frustrated or angry?

Our dogs look to us for so much guidance and reassurance. When we get over-excited, so do our dogs. When we become fearful, our dogs can pick up on that too.

So, what can you do to keep your dog calm in stressful situations? It all starts with you and how you react to stimuli around you.

To calm yourself and your dog, you can us...

New Habits Create A New Life

We all have dreams, goals, and aspirations, but what is the key to achieving them?

One of the most common pieces of advice is that you need to change your mindset to achieve your dreams. After all, your mindset is key to everything in your life. It affects your health and wellness, financial status, career, and the relationships you have in your life – including the partnership you have with your dog.

Mindset matters, but does just changing your mindset ever really work? Kathy talks a lot about mindset on this podcast. But this time, she ta...

What If It Was Easy?

Are you feeling disconnected from your dog? Are you struggling to remain present and live in the moment with them?

Living a partnership lifestyle means intentionally creating a heart-to-heart connection with your dog. It means learning to be present and having an awareness of yourself and your thoughts and feelings. By learning more about yourself, you can learn how to become a brilliant partner for you, your dog, and everyone else in your life.

In this episode of Enlightened By Dogs, Kathy discusses ways to regain and revisit your connection with your dog. She takes...

Living with An Excitable Dog with Beth Williams

When your personality doesn’t align with your dog’s in the ways you might expect, how do you communicate and connect?

BPA member, Beth Williams, welcomed her new dog, KZ into her life with open arms and an open heart. But after years of owning earth-type dogs (and being an earth-type herself), adapting to a dog with a fire-type personality was quite a change!

KZ’s excitable nature presented many new challenges for Beth and put a lot of initial strain on their relationship. Now, they have the heart and mind connection Beth always dreame...

Extreme Behavior to Partnership with Stella Murrell

When it comes to reactive dog behavior, it can feel like you’ve tried just about everything, and nothing seems to work.

A reactive dog can put a huge strain on your relationships with your beloved pets. It can significantly impact the quality of a dog’s life as well as your own.

Traditional training is what many people turn to. But if that doesn’t work, what next?

The truth is, helping your dog isn’t about forcing them to act differently. It’s about opening your mind and looking at it from a dif...

Real Listening to Reactive Dogs with Steph Taleb

You may think that you’re listening to your dog’s wants and needs, but listening isn’t always what you think it is.

We all want to do what’s best for our dogs. However, sometimes, in the quest for a successful relationship, we can get stuck pursuing traditional training methods that just aren’t working. The reality is, truly listening to your dog can look very different from how you might have imagined it.

When you open up your mind and your heart to your partnership’s possibilities, that’s when things can really start t...

Success Is An Inside Job

We often think about success as external. But what internal work happens on the way to achieving a brilliant partnership?

Your mindset can be a powerful guide on the path to a happy lifestyle with your dog. But there are many factors that influence how you think, feel, and respond in any given situation. Most of the time, this happens on the unconscious level. Thinking carefully about how you can make more conscious, intentional choices can lead you to truly being a brilliant partner and loving leader for your dog.

In this episode of Enlightened...

Social Activity and Arousal Balance for Dogs

Are the activities you do with your dog really meeting both your needs?

Both you and your dog are social beings. You have socialization and intellectual stimulation needs that you have the power to fulfill. But we often make mistakes about how to socialize our dogs and the engagement that we have with them.

In this episode of Enlightened By Dogs, Kathy shares a segment from one of her Brilliant Partners Academy classes. She talks about two topics, including how to meet your dog’s social needs in real-life situations and how to balance the ac...

Balancing Emotions with Flower Essences

When your emotional pathway is clear and balanced, you’re primed for connecting and co-regulating with your dog. But finding balance isn’t always easy. So, what tools can you use to help restore emotional balance in your partnership?

In this Enlightened By Dogs episode, Kathy shares how you can use flower essences to find balance when you’re experiencing mental, emotional, or spiritual unease.

These flower essences are simple and safe to use and can be an effective remedy in times of need. Using these to bring you and your dog back to balance sets t...

Balanced Behavior Starts Here

There are five key pillars that all social animals need to connect and thrive. These five elements build trust between you and your dog, and bring you back into balance when things start to go awry – so they’re crucial for maintaining a partnership lifestyle! But what are they?

The five pillars are to be safe, to be connected, to belong, to be heard, and to be helpful. When you keep these pillars in mind, it can help your dog calm down, think clearly, learn from you, and cooperate with you. They’re a vital part of living...