Aldaron Essences Design Your Own flower essence formula is the perfect option if you like to experiment, or if you have an idea of which essences you'd like to use, but want to be sure of which essences work for your dog before investing in multiple, expensive flower essence stock bottles.
Not sure which essences to choose?
- You may want to check out our online guides to choosing flower remedies according to specific dog behavior issues.
Please keep in mind this is not a consult - you are responsible for choosing which essences you would like to include in your dog's formula. If you would like a custom flower essence formula based on a professional analysis of your dog's behavior, please go to our Custom Formulas page.
Some suggestions before you get started:
- It is generally recommended that a formula contains 6 or fewer flower essences. While this is not written in stone, it's a good general guideline. A more narrowly-focused formula that concentrates on primary issues tends to be more effective than one that tries to address every possible problem.
- It's not always easy to choose the correct essence for a dog's emotional state, and there will be some inevitable trial and error involved. My best advice is to not overthink it too much. When unsure of your dog's motivation, choose the flower essences that best fit the most troubling surface behaviors. Yes, there may be deeper underlying emotions at work, but balancing the surface emotions first may make those deeper emotions easier to identify and resolve later.
- Don't worry if you misjudge and choose an essence that is not appropriate for your dog. If the emotional state is not out of balance, the essence for that state will simply have no effect --- no harm done! Bach flowers are, therefore, very safe to "experiment" with.
- For the purposes of Design Your Own Formulas, Rescue Remedy is counted as a single essence.
Positive attribute(s): what the emotional state appears like when it is in healthy balance. This is what that essence will help restore.
Negative attributes(s): what the emotional state looks like when it has tipped into imbalance. This is the negative behavior you are hoping to improve with that essence.
Behavioral indicators: some common behaviors that indicate whether this essence may be helpful to your dog.
English (Bach) Flower Essences (in alphabetical order):
Positive attribute(s): even-tempered, optimistic, happy-go-lucky attitude.
Negative attributes(s): cheerful facade hides inner pain; "everything’s fine", even when it's not; always puts on a happy face, even when things are bad emotionally, physically.
Behavioral indicators: the dog that invites play and closeness to distract or redirect from conflict; hates conflict in the household - arguing really upsets this dog. Tend to be happy, silly, jokester types; the "life of the party".
Positive attribute(s): fearlessness, self security.
Negative attributes(s): apprehension; vague, persistent anxiety.
Behavioral indicators: spooky, edgy, nervous, and/or jumpy dogs that appear to be reacting to "the energy in the room" versus any particular scary thing; dogs that worry and work themselves up, anticipating that something bad will happen.
Positive attribute(s): tolerance, sympathy, humility.
Negative attributes(s): critical, intolerant, nit-picky, snippy, grumpy, bitchy.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that are easily annoyed, always grumpy and reacting to small aggravations; also potentially useful for dogs that lack tolerance of change of routine, as well as those that react poorly to new and different things in their environment.
Positive attribute(s): appropriately assertive, knows own mind.
Negative attributes(s): the emotional doormat; can't say no.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that carry "willingness to please" to an extreme; working dogs that will work till they drop; dogs lacking "backbone".
Positive attribute(s): strong sense of self, confident in own ability, self-assured.
Negative attributes(s): lacks confidence in own decisions, fears being wrong; imitative behavior due to being overly influenced by those around; easily manipulated.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that automatically copy the reactions and attitudes of the dogs and people they are with; dogs that completely lose confidence when separated from people/animals they have become dependent on; "the perpetual puppy".
Positive attribute(s): strong emotional reserves, self control.
Negative attributes(s): loss of emotional balance; uncontrolled emotional outbursts.
Behavioral indicators: dogs prone to losing physical or emotional control; dogs that lash out or "freak out" against their owners, other dogs, exams, confinement; also helps dogs that struggle to retain control, barely holding it in.
Positive attribute(s): improved awareness and learning retention; opens pathways to learning new things.
Negative attributes(s): slow to learn; chronic repetition of mistakes; failure to learn from experience.
Behavioral indicators: dogs prone to making the same mistakes over and over; retarded learning progress; poor retention of lessons; consider also for repetitive behaviors.
Positive attribute(s): devoted, caring, selfless love and attention.
Negative attributes(s): possessive, manipulative, controlling, interfering behavior.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that control - often very cleverly. This dog is not necessarily aggressive; he may sulk, act out, get very creative about manipulating loved ones.
Positive attribute(s): focused, clear-headed, interested, involved.
Negative attributes(s): spacey, unfocused, day-dreamy, distant.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that are spacey, chronically lack focus and/or interest; poor memory or retention of learning.
Positive attribute(s): restores self-worth, dignity; may have physical cleansing and detox properties.
Negative attributes(s): shame, guilt, feeling of being unclean.
Behavioral indicators: appropriate for physical/emotional detox; can be helpful in animals who have lost their sense of keeping themselves clean (i.e. chronic housetraining issues) through unclean, confined conditions; may help counter the emotional drain on dogs that have become incontinent.
Positive attribute(s): mental stamina.
Negative attributes(s): inadequacy, overwhelm.
Behavioral indicators: for dogs suffering from "burn out" due to overwork; any dog overwhelmed by chronic illness or stress.
Positive attribute(s): perseverance, consistent motivation
Negative attributes(s): easily discouraged; minor difficulties turn into major setbacks; gives up easily or won't try at all.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that will not try, or that quit easily when confronted with uncertainty, negatives, or physical or emotional discomfort. Dogs that seem resigned, that have given up.
Positive attribute(s): vitality, hopefulness, forward-looking.
Negative attributes(s): listless, hopeless, lost "spark".
Behavioral indicators: dogs with downcast eyes, sagging body language, and general lack of vitality. Often called for after a long ordeal, or repeated setbacks.
Positive attribute(s): engaged, empathetic, grounded.
Negative attributes(s): attention-seeking, focus on self constantly, making everything about them.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that distract from the task at hand through noisy attention-seeking.
Positive attribute(s): self-acceptance, inner harmony.
Negative attributes(s): very negative emotions such as vexation, jealousy, hatred, suspicion.
Behavioral indicators: any dogs with deeply felt negative emotions; dogs that appear truly angry and malicious.
Positive attribute(s): restores healthy remembrance while allowing one to move on and face the present hopefully.
Negative attributes(s): wistful regret; mired in memories of the past, longing for past places, activities, relationships, loved ones that are gone, etc.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that become homesick when away from their home, owners, and/or animal companions; dogs that pine and won't eat or play when boarded or on road trips with their owners.
Positive attribute(s): enthusiasm, eager anticipation.
Negative attributes(s): mental weariness; that "Monday morning feeling"; dragging, sluggishness in the face of starting a task.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that find it difficult to start an activity after a period of rest; may be helpful during convalescence after long or challenging illness.
Positive attribute(s): increased cooperation, gentleness, patience.
Negative attributes(s): impatience, frustration, irritability.
Behavioral indicators: excitable, hyper dogs that show frustration behaviors - barking, jumping, demanding - always wanting everything done yesterday; dogs that show physical tension as a reflection of emotional tension and edginess.
Positive attribute(s): improved confidence; willingness to try; resistance to taking failure to heart.
Negative attributes(s): lack of confidence, expecting to fail, inferiority.
Behavioral indicators: for dogs that have been punished for making the wrong choices, resulting in lack of trying; for dogs that have had a "bad experience" with other dogs, people, or situations so that they now avoid or hesitate, in case it happens again.
Positive attribute(s): courage, confidence, compassion.
Negative attributes(s): shyness; fears of real, tangible, identifiable things; timidity.
Behavioral indicators: dogs with fears of everyday things: noise sensitivity, such as thunder, fireworks, and gunshot fear/phobia, startling at sudden, loud, or unexpected/unusual noises; fear of everyday objects like flags flying, baby carriages, bicycles, ring gates, ceiling fans, etc; Fear of people, either generally or certain types, such as tall men with beards, or unsteady toddlers, or people carrying bags, canes, sticks, etc; fear of other animals, such as horses, large dogs, dogs of certain breeds, etc; timid dogs who hide behind their owners.
Positive attribute(s): joy, light, serenity.
Negative attributes(s): depression, gloom, "the black cloud" that appears for no apparent reason.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that become down, depressed, gloomy for no apparent reason. Can be useful for "post-season blues" in intact females. Please be aware that depression in dogs does not typically come without cause. A full medical checkup should always be done with dogs whose attitude changes significantly for the worse.
Positive attribute(s): stamina, endurance, and strength in the long haul.
Negative attributes(s): resigned, dogged, prone to over-work, overly dutiful.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that keep going despite over-work or illness; plodding demeanor, stoicism, "let's just get through the day" attitude are indicators for Oak.
Positive attribute(s): revitalization, renewed energy.
Negative attributes(s): physical or emotional exhaustion, depletion, fatigue.
Behavioral indicators: useful after any kind of extended difficulty - illness, rescue dogs that have been through much, long-standing or repeated emotional turmoil in the household, long show/trial weekends.
Positive attribute(s): self-respect, strong positive self image.
Negative attributes(s): self-reproach, guilt feelings, never good enough, doesn't deserve praise.
Behavioral indicators: while dogs may adopt a "guilty look" in certain situations, and some may occasionally actually express self-reproach, I am not sure this essence is particularly applicable to dogs. If you try and do get positive results from this essence, please share!
Positive attribute(s): improved optimism, positive-thinking, confidence in the self sufficiency of loved ones.
Negative attributes(s): worry and fear for another; over-caring and concern for loved ones, stemming from attachment.
Behavioral indicators: sensitive dogs that honestly worry for the well-being and safety of loved ones. The focus of their concern is often individuals that are young, small, or that are weakened, ill, infirm, or emotionally or physically delicate or fragile.
Rescue Remedy is Bach's original "emergency" formula, combining the individual essences Impatiens, Clematis, Rock Rose, Cherry Plum, and Star of Bethlehem. Rescue Remedy has been found over and over to not only work brilliantly alone, but to work to support and enhance other essences in flower essence formulas.
Positive attribute(s): restores calmness and presence of mind; gives comfort; reduces panic and stress reactions.
Negative attributes(s): panic, severe stress, reactivity, shock and trauma.
Behavioral indicators: Rescue Remedy is almost always a sound first choice with dogs that are stressed, fearful, panicky, traumatized, and/or needing comfort. May be used to heal the long-term effects of past trauma with excellent results.
Positive attribute(s): courageous, steadfast, heroic.
Negative attributes(s): panic, panic attacks, terror.
Behavioral indicators: dogs prone to flight or freeze mode in frightening situations; extreme fear; escape behavior is a clear indicator, but also freezing, panting, eyes darting (i.e. dogs that are prevented from escaping, or able to contain their impulse to flee the situation, but would if they were able).
Positive attribute(s): emotional and physical flexibility, open-mindedness, gentleness.
Negative attributes(s): physical or emotional rigidity; stubborn adherence to rules for rules sake; perfectionism.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that want everyone around them to follow their rules (or else); dominant behavior, including stiff posturing, hard stares and glares; territorial behavior; dogs that must keep a particular schedule for training, feeding, walks, etc.
Positive attribute(s): even-keeled, stable, steady, able to make decisions and stick with them.
Negative attributes(s): inability to decide between one thing and the next; mood swings; any up and down, unpredictable behavior.
Behavioral indicators: dogs subject to erratic, back-and-forth behavior or temperaments; can be useful for balance issues (e.g. motion sickness), as well as hormonally influenced behavior swings.
Star of Bethlehem
Positive attribute(s): gives comfort, restores calmness
Negative attributes(s): shock, pain, numbness, and/or disorientation from trauma or fright (present or residual).
Behavioral indicators: can be used for current or past issues, such as accidents, grief, abuse. A good choice if you're unsure whether the dog's behavior is a reflection of past traumatic events.
Positive attribute(s): endurance, perseverance, even in extreme circumstances.
Negative attributes(s): mental despair; the wit's end; extreme emotional distress, to the point of breaking.
Behavioral indicators: for dogs experiencing (or that have experienced) severe emotional trauma from, for example, abuse or severely challenging life conditions. Note that physically and/or emotionally depleted dogs may get to their "wit's end" much more easily than dogs that have good emotional grounding and regular, emotionally supportive habits and lifestyles.
Positive attribute(s): tolerance, acceptance, restraint; appropriate enthusiasm, drive, and focus.
Negative attributes(s): overly serious, intolerant, impulsive, fanatical.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that are overly-intense, always on the job; dogs that take life too seriously, for whom even play is work; these dogs know they are always right and determined be sure you know when you've made a mistake (e.g. back-talking, etc), according to their rules. Pushy, "get out of my way" dogs. We all know a dog or two like this, I think!
Positive attribute(s): restores positive leadership qualities.
Negative attributes(s): bossy, dictatorial, "dominant" behavior.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that use forceful, bullying behaviors to get their way; strong, impatient, high status dogs that have learned they can get what they want by using physical strength, threats, and/or intimidation; also helpful with dogs who have resorted to such behavior as a reaction to forceful methods being used on them.
Positive attribute(s): restores ability to adapt to change while remaining true to oneself; adds stability in the face of outside influences and life transitions.
Negative attributes(s): overly responsive to outside influences - noise, scents, sights, the moods, ideas, and energy of others - especially during vulnerable transition periods.
Behavioral indicators: dogs going through various stages of physical, emotional, and sexual maturity; people or animals moving into or out of the home; dogs being rehomed; excellent for providing a protective shell or buffer zone; very helpful in transitions, including end of life.
Positive attribute(s): gentle, charming, self-reliant.
Negative attributes(s): aloof, introverted, socially indifferent.
Behavioral indicators: dogs showing true shyness (i.e. social reserve) either as a life stage or breed characteristic; "snooty" dogs that have no time for casual companionship; dogs prone to withdrawing in times of stress, illness, uncertainty.
Positive attribute(s): clarity of thought; a "quiet mind".
Negative attributes(s): runaway, undisciplined thoughts; obsessive mental chatter; mental preoccupation.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that show repetitive, compulsive behaviors; restlessness; dogs that get over-focused on a task, to the point of not being able to "hear" instructions.
Positive attribute(s): renewed interest and direction.
Negative attributes(s): boredom, lacking direction, unfulfilled as to life ambition.
Positive attribute(s): restores vital interest, spontaneity, youthful joy.
Negative attributes(s): apathy; resignation; lack of previous lightness, joy, and enjoyment of everyday things.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that have lost interest in activities, relationships, or routines they previously enjoyed, whether through illness, hormonal swings, life changes, reduced time, attention, or work by the owner.
Positive attribute(s): equable temper
Negative attributes(s): resentment, sulkiness, spitefulness.
Behavioral indicators: dogs that resent the attention other pets or people in the household get; dogs that gain attention through acting out; bad-tempered, sulky dogs.
Traditional brandy-preserved: Spring water, brandy (20%), your choice of up to 7 flower essences.
Glycerite: Vegetable glycerin, spring water, your choice of up to 7 flower essences.
Three to four times each day, give your dog 3-4 drops (or 1 spray), either straight into the dog's mouth or added to a treat or meal. Increase frequency as needed in times of stress. Improvement typically begins within 3 to 14 days and gradually builds over time. Read our Instructions on Using and Storing Your Aldaron Essences' Flower Essence Formula.
Flower essences, considered a subtle energy therapy, work to gently correct imbalances in emotional energies. In most cases, you will start by seeing a more balanced, even-keeled reaction in situations that normally trigger a negative or extreme response in your dog. This means that oftentimes what you're looking for is an absence of negative behaviors, or a reduction in their intensity or duration. This is typically intermittent at first, becoming more consistent over time. As you might expect, early behavioral progress tends to be in areas that are less stressful or habitual for the dog, with improvement in more difficult situations building over time. Reinforcing (with praise, affection, etc) the improved responses you see will help speed the process along and help solidify the new, more balanced reactions.
On a physical level, it’s not uncommon to see "softer" eyes, and softer, less tense, more fluid body language, sometimes within minutes of giving the formula. This doesn't always happen - it seems that the more out of balance (e.g. fearful, reactive, stressed) the dog is, the more dramatic the shift will be when first exposed to flower essences. Dogs that are less energetically "out of alignment" tend to respond more gradually and subtly to the balancing effects of flower remedies.
A more in-depth look is available in our article, Flower Essences - What They Are, and How They Can Help your Dog.
Aldaron Essences formulas, and flower essences in general, are not medications and are not a substitute for veterinary care. Behavior problems can be a sign of something physically wrong – please consult with your animal health care professional regularly, and if your dog experiences any sudden or dramatic change in behavior. In cases of aggression or any threatening or potentially dangerous behavior, Aldaron Essences should always be used in conjunction with, and within the overall framework of a sound, behavior-based training program.
Sizes & Servings
Our most popular size for first time buyers is the 1 oz dropper bottle. It contains approximately 600 drops, and will last about 67 days when given at 3 drops, 3 times per day. To compare number of servings, how long a bottle will last, and even your average cost per week for each size, see our Aldaron Essences Sizes and Servings Comparison.
Brandy or Glycerin?
The traditional choice for preserving flower essences, brandy has excellent preservative qualities, offering a shelf life of up to 3 years. For those wishing to avoid even small amounts of alcohol, glycerin is a good alternative. It's an effective preservative, although less so than brandy. Glycerites should be used within 12-18 months. Read our full comparison of the pro's and con's of brandy vs glycerin as preservative.
Dropper or Sprayer?
The choice between dropper and fine mist sprayer is really a matter of personal preference (yours and your dog's). Each is equally effective for administering flower essences. If you're unsure which to choose, read our comparison of dropper versus sprayer.