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Enlightened By Dogs with Kathy Kawalec

Jun 3, 2019

Have you ever wondered about the science behind what we do as brilliant partners? We strive to live in harmony with our dogs, and do our best to create an environment that’s safe, calm and happy for them! Today Kathy welcomes Sue Mimm to Enlightened By Dogs to discuss the intriguing Polyvagal Theory. Introduced by Dr. Stephen Porges in 1994, the Polyvagal Theory surrounds the school of thought that we have different pathways through the brain which determines our response stress, anxiety and fearful situations. Since dogs and humans are both highly socially intelligent, it makes a lot of sense that our dogs would experience the same kinds of things we do! They get anxious, nervous and fearful too, and their responses aren’t as obvious to us sometimes. In this episode, Sue clues us in to some of the things we miss as dog lovers, and how the brain actually creates these responses in the first place! Tune in to find out if your dog is actually a pain, or if they’re just scared!


  • Digging for new ways to help dogs deal with trauma.
  • The science of safety and the social engagement system
  • The three pathways of response, and how they show up in our dogs.
  • How to do the safe, calm and happy protocol, in order to strengthen neural and emotional responses.


“There’s a lot of research done into human behaviour as far as trauma and anxiety, etc. but obviously very little in the animal kingdom”

“We miss the smaller signals that they’re sending us that they aren’t feeling safe.”

“Just because we might perceive it as not being dangerous doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t perceive it as being dangerous”

“You are actually doing something by being safe, calm and happy”


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