Intense, high strung, impulsive dogs can be such fun to train and work with, but they can easily get "over the top". Bossiness, over-arousal, impulsiveness, and an overly serious-mindset can all be remedied with Vervain Bach flower essence.
The Vervain Personality in Dogs
When in balance, the Vervain personality is idealistic, energetic, self-contained, and tolerant of the ideas and wishes of others. They tend to respond with great enthusiasm. When out of balance, the Vervain type can become fanatical, hyperactive, overly serious, and uptight, with a “my way or the highway” attitude.
Dr Bach considered Vervain one of the “Twelve Personalities” that his remedies helped.
“Those with fixed principles and ideas, which they are confident are right, and which they very rarely change. They have a great wish to convert all around them to their own view of life. They are strong of will and have much courage when they are convinced of those things that they wish to teach. In illness they struggle on long after many would have given up their duties.”
Courage, strong will, perseverance: I don’t know about you, but that pretty much describes my idea of the perfect working dog! And, in fact, great working dogs typically are of the Vervain type (in balance, of course). It's when that balance is lost that they can get a bit frustrating to work or live with.
Use of Vervain in Dogs
Vervain Bach flower essence restores restraint in dogs that are overly intense, exuberant or impulsive -- without reducing drive or work ethic. Pushy, hyper, overwhelming dogs that never stop, that can’t seem to get adequate exercise will benefit from Vervain. If your dog is high strung - mentally or physically - Vervain can help temper excessive “nerves” in this kind of dog.
Examples of High-Strung Dog Behaviors Helped by Vervain
- Hyper-active, constantly on-the-go dogs.
- Dogs that are too uptight to play well with others.
- “Fun police” dogs that won’t let other dogs (or cats, or kids, or visitors) play.
- Bossy, know-it-all dogs that tell you off when you make a training or handling mistake.
- Dogs that patrol the yard or house endlessly, always “on watch”.
- Dogs that make themselves responsible for the behavior of others.
- Intense, overly-serious dogs whose minds are always on their work.
- Enthusiastic, insistent dogs that have trouble taking direction or being called off their work if they don’t agree with your decision.
- Workaholic, playaholic dogs that don’t know when to quit.
- Overbearing, demanding dogs that constantly push to get their way.
- Dogs that never seem to get enough work to satisfy them.
- Dogs that just plain don’t know how to relax!
Flower Essences Commonly Combined with Vervain
Impatiens. It's rare for an impulsive, pushy dog to live in a household that simply lets him have his way all the time. So, frustration and impatience are typically a frequent occurrence with bossy Vervain types. Impatiens flower essence improves patience and cooperation in over-zealous dogs.
Chicory. With strong-willed dogs, attachments can take on a too-intense nature. Chicory reduces unhealthy expressions of attachment in the dog that makes her owner the object of her intensity.
Mimulus. One of the worst emotional combinations is fear and nervousness in an intense, high-strung dog. The fear and intensity often feed on one another. Mimulus restores courage and confidence, and reduces fear and anxiety.
Vine. When bossy, willful dogs use physical force and intimidation to get their way, Vine is the flower essence of choice. Vine tones down confrontational bossiness in strongly opinionated Vervain types.
Holly. When intense, over-zealous dogs get frustrated, it's not unusual for them to get angry and out of sorts. Holly balances very negative heartfelt emotions like suspicion, vexation, and anger.
Beech. Strongly opinionated dogs may find it difficult to tolerate the habits and desires of others. Beech improves tolerance.
Oak. The over-zealous nature of high-strung dogs can lead them to over-extend themselves. Oak builds emotional stamina.
White Chestnut and Chestnut Bud. A high intensity nature may be more likely to fall into obsessive, repetitive behavior. White Chestnut calms runaway thoughts and "quiets the mind". Chestnut Bud helps reduce repetitive, "in a rut" emotional behavior.
Wild Rose. The oh-so-serious Vervain personality may have a hard time relaxing and enjoying life's joyful moments. Wild Rose can help lighten up their overly driven nature and let them enjoy themselves for once!
Other Considerations for Intense, High-Drive Dogs
Intense, serious-minded, driven dogs need the proverbial "job to do". This is simply a fact of life. Their job can be some sort of functional, useful work, or a sport or performance activity (of which there are many choices), or it can be some kind of fun and/or responsible work around your home. But in some way or other, that drive needs to be fulfilled.
Vervain type dogs also tend to crave a clear leader, someone they feel is worthy of devoting their energies to pleasing. Developing your leadership skills so as to be a clear, consistent, reliable leader to your dog, will go a long way to keeping this personality in balance.
Aldaron Essences’ Formulas Featuring Vervain Bach Flower Essence
Vervain flower essence is one of the more important remedies we use at Aldaron Essences. Its role in restoring appropriate restraint and enthusiasm in pushy, intense, impulsive, over-the-top dogs makes it a crucial flower remedy in our Hyper-Drive, High Anxiety, Moderation, and Dominance & Territoriality formulas for dogs. You can also include Vervain in a Design Your Own Formula and have us mix it for you!
Flower essences for over-stimulation and over-arousal in dogs
When your high-powered performance dog gets too over-aroused to think and perform precisely and calmly, Hyper-Drive flower essence formula can help. This blend of Vervain, Impatiens, White Chestnut, Chestnut Bud, Walnut, and Cherry Plum flower essences improves impulse control, increases patience, and heightens the ability to be calmly, thoughtfully self-contained in the face of distractions. Hyper-Drive is an excellent choice for any dog that struggles with over-stimulation and impulse control.
Flower essences for overbearing, controlling, bossy dogs
Bossy, overbearing dogs with domineering personality traits can be quick to act out if "their rules" are broken. These are typically smart, controlling dogs that feel the need to regularly put everyone (or a select few) around them in their place. Our best-selling Moderation flower essence formula combines Vervain, Vine, Impatiens, Chicory, Holly, and Cherry Plum flower essences to help improve patience and gentleness, and tone down bossy, bratty, domineering behavior in dogs.
Flower essences for bullying, threatening, territorial behavior in dogs
What are classically considered "dominant" dogs - bullying, challenging, confrontational, highly-assertive - are what we have in mind with our Dominance & Territoriality flower essence formula for dogs. This is the confident, domineering dog who is very in-control of his actions, and who thinks he should be in control of everyone else's, too. This blend of Vervain, Vine, Impatiens, Chicory, Holly, and Rock Water natural flower remedies helps balance and tone down bossy, bratty, and even forceful challenging of authority - without diminishing the positive natural leadership qualities of high-status ("alpha type") dogs.
Flower essences to relieve fear & anxiety in high-strung, "on the job" type dogs
Our High Anxiety flower essence blend restores balance to intense, overly driven, always "on the job" dogs that need extra confidence, courage, and self-assurance. This combination of Rescue Remedy, Aspen, Mimulus, Vervain, Impatiens, Oak, and Walnut flower essences is an ideal formula for the highly intelligent and observant dog that feels obligated to keep track of every aspect of their environment. It's also a great choice for frustration-driven reactivity intensified by fear or anxiety.
Design Your Own blend of Bach flower essences
Aldaron Essences has a growing library of Bach flower remedy guides to help with specific dog behavior issues and situations, making it easy to select your own essences which we can combine it for you. You can also browse the general flower essence descriptions on our Design Your Own formula page.
Among all the Bach flower remedies available, Vervain stands out if you live or work with an intense, high-strung, strong-willed dog. Especially if he tips over into over-impulsive, over-aroused, or a little bit too pushy and controlling, now and then. Vervain Bach flower essence tempers over-exuberance and pushiness, and restores appropriate levels of restraint.
When combined with complementary essences, Vervain can help resolve more than just over-exuberance and bossiness. It's an important remedy in addressing reactive, domineering, and even fearful behavior in dogs.
Take a look at the Aldaron Essences formulas highlighted above, or design a combination yourself. I think you'll be impressed with the positive, balancing effects that Vervain - and other flower remedies - can have on your dog's behavior.
Julie Cantrell BSc CDBC
Owner, Aldaron Essences LLC