Have a dog that's had a bad experience with other dogs, people, or situations, so that now they seem to have no confidence in themselves? The Bach flower essence Larch is spot-on for this kind of emotional setback. Read how Larch can restore your dog's the ability to "get back in the saddle" and try again.
Insights into Larch, a Bach flower remedy for confidence
The Larch flower essence was discovered by Dr. Edward Bach, the originator of Bach flower essences. Describing those who could be helped by it, he wrote:
“For those who do not consider themselves as good or capable as those around them, who expect failure, who feel that they will never be a success, and so do not venture or make a strong enough attempt to succeed.” ~ Dr. Edward Bach
Larch flower essence improves confidence on an energetic level. It restores willingness to try again. It builds resistance to taking failures to heart. It subtly improves the ability to handle new or difficult situations.
The Larch tree is one of the small number of needle-leafed conifers that is deciduous rather than evergreen. This lovely tree has some striking characteristics that seem to be reflected in the essence made from its flowers.
A strong and adaptable tree, the Larch is not only capable of thriving in the face of adversity, it seems to thrive on it. Poor soil; exposed, rugged, hostile conditions? Bring it on! Every winter this tenacious deciduous conifer dries up, turns brown, and loses its leaves. It appears well and truly dead; you might say beyond hope. Only to spring back from its forlorn state, and begin again, and again.
If it were a person, we might say he had the ability to “get up again”, to recover from setbacks, to pick himself up and dust himself off. This is precisely the emotional quality that Larch flower essence helps restore.
How important is confidence in dogs?
A mild lack of confidence may go unnoticed in the stay-at-home family pet. It might even be welcome. After all, it’s not so bad when a dog lacks the confidence to be rowdy, obnoxious or annoying! A slightly under-confident dog might simply be thought of a “well-behaved” – not because he’s impeccably-trained, but because he lacks the confidence to assert himself and get into trouble.
For dogs in active homes - with pet owners who take their dogs traveling, camping, boating, visiting with family and friends - a lack of confidence can be problematic. Active pet owners want to be able to experience exciting new adventures with their dog, after all. And ideally, the dog will want to join in the fun!
And for working, performance, sport, or show dogs? Persistent lack of confidence can be a career-killer. It can make any attempt to reach higher levels of training at best a steep uphill climb. Any dog trainer will tell you that the hardest dog to work with is not the one that pushes and challenges, but the one that lacks confidence to try.
What types of dogs can be helped by Larch flower essence?
- Dogs that have had a bad experience in training, trialing, or life that has caused them to lose confidence and shut down or avoid the situation.
- Aging dogs, dogs that have struggled with illness, failing body or senses so that life is just tougher now than it used to be.
- Dogs that are hesitant or resistant to learning new things, or that refuse to try again after a bad experience.
- Dogs that have been punished for making the wrong choices, so that they’ve become (understandably) sensitive to possible repercussions of trying.
- Dogs that take even minor setbacks to heart.
- Dogs that take overly long to recover after difficult training sessions or events.
- Sheltered dogs that need to learn to take new situations, new people, or new places in stride.
- Dogs working in situations where independent decision-making, or working at a distance from the owner, is an important part of the job.
Bach flower essences that combine well with Larch
The confidence issues addressed by Larch stem from experience – some sort of negative event – and are not an inherent temperament trait. For dogs that are fearful or timid, dogs with “constitutional” confidence issues, and other influences on confidence, you’ll want to combine Larch with other Bach flower remedies.
Mimulus. Lack of confidence is often accompanied by a general timidity and/or specific fears. Mimulus improves courage and confidence when there is a specific, identifiable fear.
Cerato is for the dog that is overly dependent on how others react in a given situation. If your dog follows the lead of other dogs in deciding whether to be brave or friendly, try Cerato.
Centaury is beneficial for the dog that seems to have no will of its own. These dogs that “love to please” can be so agreeable to whatever they’re asked to do that they never develop true *self* confidence. While many might think this is the ideal dog, this kind of emotional trait can be very draining on dogs over time.
Chicory. Relationship can affect confidence in dogs. A needy, indulged, over-attached dog may learn to display hesitancy because it draws attention or sympathy. A bossy, controlling dog may refuse to try as a way of asserting itself. Chicory restores balance to relationships and eases attachment issues.
Elm. The sense of overwhelm frequently accompanies lack of confidence. Elm reduces overwhelm.
Chestnut Bud. It’s not uncommon for what began as a lack of confidence to continue simply out of habit. Chestnut Bud opens new pathways for learning and reduces the tendency to stay in a rut, emotionally.
Gentian. A general lack of resiliency (i.e. the ability to “bounce back”) can look like lack of confidence, and the two frequently go together. Gentian improves resiliency.
Rock Water. Stubborn refusal to try new things or to adopt new habits may reflect a strong adherence to rules and routine. If your dog tends to like to do things the way he’s always done it – period – then try Gentian.
Aldaron Essences formulas featuring Larch flower essence
Where to find Larch at Aldaron Essences? Larch flower essence is featured in our Confidence and Confidence Plus flower essence formulas (not surprisingly), as well as Happy Trails (confidence in adjusting to change), Golden Years (confidence, clarity and zest for life in older dogs), Crossover (restoring confidence in the crossover trainer’s dog), Social-Ease (social confidence) and Shine (confidence and showiness for the show dog). And, of course, you can Design Your Own Formula using Larch and other Bach flower essences.
Larch is the Bach flower remedy of choice to restore confidence lost through some scary, startling, or overwhelming event. With the help of Larch, dogs that are reluctant to try (or try again) can be eased out of their hesitant state.
And when combined with other Bach flower remedies, Larch can help improve a variety of dog behavior problems related to lack of confidence, from being easily intimidated, to being overly influenced by stronger personalities, to socialization issues, overwhelm, and more.
Of course, no flower essences will replace the need to work with your dog. But while you are patiently working to improve your dog's confidence, Larch can be working on a subtle energy level to remove the emotional roadblocks that have been holding your dog back from bigger and better things.
So, take a look through our Aldaron Essences formulas for confidence – all designed by an experienced dog trainer and behavior specialist. Or, design a blend yourself! Either way, I think you’ll be very pleased at the kind of positive change Larch and other flower remedies can bring about in your dog.
Julie Cantrell BSc CDBC
Owner, Aldaron Essences LLC