If you have a question you'd like answered and do not see it below, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be happy to answer your question and, if I feel the question is of general interest, I'll post the question and answer on this page.
If you are looking for general introductory information on flower essences, I suggest you start by reading my article Flower Essences: What They Are and How They Can Help Your Dog. This article discusses types of dog behavior issues such as fears, phobias, jealousy, over-intensity, etc. that can be helped with the aid of flower essences, and how they can help your training and socialization progress more smoothly, not to mention making day to day life just plain easier!
- Customer Service questions
- Flower Essences : General questions
- Flower Essences for Dogs : General questions
- Aldaron Essences product questions
Customer Service questions
A: If you place your order by 8AM Pacific time, most orders will ship the same day as placed. If that's not possible, it will ship by the next business day. Rarely, during very busy times, it will take two business days to process and ship an order, but this is quite unusual. Our business days are Monday - Friday, 9AM-5PM Pacific Time, holidays excluded.
A: We ship all orders via US Postal Service, either First Class mail, or Priority Mail for orders over one pound.
A: Tracking numbers are provided for each domestic order we ship. Since tracking numbers are provided by email when shipment is confirmed, please be sure to use an accurate email address when placing your order so you can receive this information.
A: Orders $75 and over ship free within the USA. Please refer to our Shipping & Returns page for shipping costs for orders under $75.
A: You may request expedited shipping via US Postal Service by emailing us with your request. However, please be aware that USPS does not guarantee overnight delivery when parcels are mailed from rural post offices such as ours.
A: We do ship internationally, and have shipped our formulas to Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, France, among other countries. Orders outside the United States are shipped via International Mail. You have your choice of First Class International, Priority, or Express. Please be aware that orders to countries outside of the USA may be subject to customs duties and taxes, and may be delayed in customs. Any additional taxes, fees, customs duties or VAT are the sole responsibility of the customer and are not included in the shipping charges.
A: Of course. Email Julie with some background on your dog, and what issues you're hoping to help with flower essences, and she'll be glad to offer some guidance as to which flower blend might be best for your dog.
Flower Essences - General questions
A: Bach flower essences are a natural supplement discovered and developed in 1930’s England by the physician and bacteriologist, Dr. Edward Bach. Bach’s remedies are liquid infusions of healing flowers (one type of flower per essence, allowed to sun-infuse in pure spring water) which act to subtly re-balance extreme or out of balance emotional states. They are quite dilute liquid preparations, and believed to contain the energy signatures (or “essences”) of various flowers used. Each type of flower essence addresses a specific emotional state, and when taken internally, gently works to bring that emotion back into healthy balance. There are flower essences that can reduce your dog's stress and anxiety, improve focus, increase self control, and decrease aggressive behavior - just to name a few. The essences can be taken one at a time or more commonly, are combined into formulas that address an overall behavioral “picture”. Flower essences can be used as a stand-alone therapy or as part of a behavior modification program. Bach flower essences are non-toxic and can’t be overdosed. They are non-habit-forming, and have no negative side effects. There are not many supplements you can say all that about!
Since Dr Bach’s original work with the thirty eight flower essences, his namesake remedies have become recognized and used with success world-wide, as aid aid to emotional healing in humans, companion animals, and domestic and captive-wild species. More recently, flower essence research has broadened beyond the British Isles, and currently hundreds of flower essences from around the globe are being studied. Aldaron Essences' flower essence blends for dogs use primarily Dr. Bach’s original English flower essences and, to a lesser degree, the North American essences discovered and researched by the Flower Essence Society.
A: It is precisely because of the effects observed in animals that so many are convinced that flower essences do, in fact, work. While people certainly can have an "I want to believe" mindset that can affect how well they perceive a given therapy is working, animals have no such preconceived notions, expectations, or biases. For example, I have seen flower essences work dramatically in homes where the owners had no previous experience with alternative therapies, and no expectation of any particular effect. I have seen amazing results in dogs kenneled at a boarding facility, with no family members or acquaintances present to influence the dog's behavior. I have seen flower essences work on pets owned by people who actually had negative expectations, in which case, if the owners were somehow influencing their animals emotionally, I would have expected to see either a neutral or even a negative result. And, I have seen cases where the dog's owners, possibly too close to the dog to notice the changes in behavior, only recognized the improvement when friends (or competitors, in the case of some show dogs) asked what in the world they had done to bring about such a change in their dog!
So, while the actual mechanism of how flower essences work on emotions is not understood, there is abundant convincing evidence that, at least in animals, there is no placebo effect at play.
A: It varies. It's not unusual to see an initial calming effect very quickly - within minutes after the first dose. But deeper, more significant change tends to begin within 3-5 days, and can take as long as two weeks. Be patient, since this is a highly individual process. Also be on the lookout for small shifts in perspective that you weren't necessarily expecting!
A: Flower essences have been around since the 1930's, and have enjoyed worldwide popularity. In that time, there have been no reported negative side effects.
A: Flower essences are not habit-forming. Their gentle balancing action means they will be needed less over time, as balancing takes hold, not more.
A: Flower essences work to bring the emotional body into balance. If you think about it, it's not possible to be too balanced. So, overdosing with flower remedies is not a concern. That said, more is not better with flower essences. They work gently, subtly, and beneath the surface. It's not possible or desirable to try to rush the process. It took time for the emotional self to lose balance, and it takes time to regain it.
A: Flower essences may lose effectiveness over time, but they are generally quite stable. They won't go bad unless contamination is introduced into the bottle. Contamination generally happens when the dropper is touched to outside surfaces. See below, "How should flower essences be stored?" for more on this.
A: Vibrational energy products like flower essences must be considered fairly delicate. Ideally they should be stored away from heat and strong energy sources and out of direct sunlight. Refrigeration isn't necessary if reasonable care is taken to keep the contents "clean". To make sure of this, avoid touching the dropper tip to surfaces like food, your dog’s mouth, etc, when giving your dog the formula. Introducing contaminants to the bottle will not only shorten the shelf life of flower essences, but may also affect its energetic effectiveness. If the dropper comes into contact with a clean surface, rinse it well with purified or spring water before replacing it in the bottle. If it comes into contact with "gunk" (i.e. potential bacterial sources, such as food, the dog's mouth, the floor, etc), wash with dish soap and water, then rinse well with purified or spring water before replacing it in the bottle.
A: This is a common question (and misconception) because, superficially, flower essences and aromatherapy do appear quite similar. They both involve flowers, and both involve feelings and emotional states. The similarity, however, ends there. Aromatherapy employs the scent (aroma) of essential oils of various flowers to alter mood through brain chemistry. It is believed to do this via its action on the limbic system of the brain. Flower essences, on the other hand, effect and alter not mood per se, but emotional states and perception. Further, they contain no discernible scent. Instead of concentrated essential oils, flower essences are prepared from pure water in which selected flowers have been infused. While no noticeable scent remains, what is preserved is the "energy signature" of that particular bloom. It is this subtle vibrational pattern, not overt scent, that holds the therapeutic value of flower essences. This vibrational pattern acts as a kind of "tuning fork" for out of balance emotions. By providing the body with plant world's version of the correct (healthy, balanced) vibrational pattern of a particular emotion, the body is able to gently readjust back into a healthy emotional state.
Flower Essences for Dogs : General questions
A: Flower essences are 100% safe for dogs and other pets, and animals in general. They are non-toxic, non-habit-forming, have no negative side effects, and cannot be overdosed. In worldwide popular use since their development in the 1930's by English physician and bacteriologist Dr. Edward Bach, flower remedies benefit the emotional health and well-being of not only humans, but companion animals and domestic and captive-wild species.
A: The most common way of giving flower essence formulas is either by dropper bottle, or a bottle equipped with a “mister” top. Both of these are quite convenient. Personally I prefer the mister in most cases, as this is easy to handle, and won’t spill if I am clumsy. For dogs of all sizes, 2-3 drops is the normal dose, or 1-2 sprays of the formula, each time the formula is given. This should be done 3-4 times each day, and can be given “as needed” in troublesome situations. Amounts and frequency can be increased safely, although more than the 3 or 4 times a day probably won’t speed or intensify the effect - you will just run out faster :-). That said, my usual routine is to give a new formula 4 to 6 times/day over the first 3 days, tapering off to 3-4 times a day after that. I feel this helps get the formula solidly in the dog’s system.
Before giving each dose, it’s recommended that you shake the bottle vigorously in a vertical (top to bottom) direction. Then the spray or drops can be given directly into the mouth (avoid touching the dropper or sprayer to the mouth or any other surface). Alternatively, they can be applied to a dry biscuit and fed to the dog or, if you just have the one animal (or your pets have separate water bowls) you can add the formula to your dog’s water. Some people prefer to put a few drops of the formula on the hands and rub it into the dog’s gums, or mist/rub it around the head. Ideally, I like to give the essences directly into the mouth, but these other options are all perfectly sound.
One last tip: When administering the formula to your dog, be matter of fact. Most animals accept this strange new thing easily if you project a positive, ”no big deal” attitude.
A: For any ongoing behavior issue, flower essences should be given to your dog 3-4 times daily. It helps to give the doses at around the same time each day. This is not so much to "keep it in the system", but to develop a rhythm to the balancing effects. With dogs that have very serious deep-seated issues, it may be helpful to start out giving flower essences more often per day for the first couple of weeks. (Only increase the frequency, not the amount given. Greater quantity per dose isn't harmful, but it won't speed the process, either.) Acute situations are dosed a little differently. When a negative emotional state comes on suddenly, such as with a very specific trigger (a thunderstorm would be a common example), give several doses in succession, until the dog gets relief. Three doses spaced 3-5 minutes apart are often sufficient.
A: The most typical time frame to to begin to see improvement is 3-5 days after starting flower essences with your dog. With some dogs, it may take up to 2 weeks or even longer for early signs of balancing to begin. Occasionally, if the animal is severely stressed or out of balance (or very sensitive to energy therapies), you might see a change within minutes of the first dose. Each dog is an individual and will incorporate changes at their own pace, so be patient and keep track of subtle shifts in your dog's outlook and behavior.
A: Every animal is unique, and some behaviors are more deep-seated than others. Because of this, it’s important to keep in mind that how quickly you will see a change in your dog will vary. I have seen “blow me out of the water” results in minutes, but other times (and certainly more often) I’ve seen it take as long as 3 or 4 weeks to see a significant shift in reactions. Every individual tends to incorporate change at their own pace, and some hold on to the way they react more strongly than others.
Bach flower essences work subtly, which is sometimes hard for people unfamiliar with them to grasp. While they are possible, you’re best off not expecting big, sweeping changes in your dog’s attitude. Look, instead, for noticeable shifts (sometimes subtle, sometimes very obvious) in your dog’s attitude in situations that previously had caused stress or a particular negative reaction. Assuming the appropriate combination of essences (i.e. formula) has been chosen, you should see a progressive reduction in intensity, frequency, duration, and/or tenacity of the negative reaction.
Flower essence formulas are non-toxic and have no harmful side effects. If an essence is not the right one for your dog, then you simply will see no change (keep in mind though, to look for subtle changes). The formulas are very safe, and nothing bad will happen if one animal gets a taste of the formula intended another. Bach flower formulas are not sedative and will not make your dog act “dopey”. However, I have frequently seen a noticeable relaxation response within minutes of the first dose, particularly when Rescue Remedy is involved.
A: Flower essences can produce lasting or permanent "re-tuning" of emotional states. So, the adjustment your dog experienced say, a few months ago, should continue to be effective for some time after you stop giving it. How long is very much dependent on the individual dog and circumstances. Your dog can, for a number of reasons (health, stress, training methods, etc) get back out of emotional balance, and need another round of flower essences to reinforce her positive behavior. See the question "How long will my dog need to take flower essences?" for a further discussion of this.
A: Flower essences are non-habit forming, and your dog cannot become dependent on taking them. If you find your dog's behavior regresses each time you cut back on his flower essences, then it's either too soon to stop (i.e. the improvements have not had time to become a habit), or there are other factors driving your dog into a state of imbalance. These other factors could be genetics, living environment and routine, training methods, health (including pain issues), diet, etc. It's important to look at your dog's behavior and emotional health from as many perspectives as possible, when evaluating progress. I also recommend working with a good dog trainer or behavior consultant to maximize your chances of success.
A: You should give the flower essence formula, on the recommended schedule, a minimum of 2 weeks to see if there will be any noticeable effect. Keep in mind that it sometimes takes longer. If you are seeing results (improved behavior and responses), continue the formula on a minimum 3 dose per day for at least a month. As your dog's new, more positive behaviors become the norm, you can either decide to reduce the frequency of the formula (going to once a day, or even a few days a week), or if you are like me, you will find that you end up "forgetting" to keep up with the doses as the dog's behavior improves. I think most people tend to notice negative behaviors more than positive ones, and in my case anyway, the negative behaviors tend to "remind" me to keep giving the formula. When they go away, being replaced by positive responses, I just don't think about giving the formula as often. I've found this to be a very natural way to wean off a flower essence formula.
If at any point, your dog begins to shift back into imbalance, showing the old, negative behaviors again, simply start up the regular doses again until you see an improvement, and continue on a few days or weeks before reducing or eliminating giving the formula. Some dogs will bounce back and forth, improving while they are on the formula, and gradually slipping out of balance again when they go off it. This is often simply long-term habit coming back to haunt you! If that is the case, you will find that you have to return to the formula with less and less frequency as time goes on. However, keep in mind that it is also normal for any individual (dog, humans, or any animals) to fall into predictable patterns of imbalance when stressed. So, if the dog repeatedly falls back into imbalance after finishing a course of flower essence therapy, it is advisable to revisit whether the dog has some outside stressor that is causing him to keep returning to the negative behavior patterns. This could be a health issue that is undermining the dog's ability to cope, a training method or approach that is in conflict with the dog's temperament or learning style, a nutritional imbalance, a lack of mental or physical exercise, etc, etc. If you can identify and remove or reduce the stressor, your dog will be much more likely to achieve long-term improvement from flower essences (or any other treatment, training, or therapy).
A: Flower essences can't be overdosed, but that is not the same as saying more is better. Since flower essences must be preserved to maintain shelf life, it would be possible to give more of the preservative than is healthy for a small animal or child. Because of this, it's recommended you follow the guidelines for administering the formulas: give 2-4 drops 3 to 4 times each day. If you wish to increase the frequency much more than that, I recommend using other methods of administration, such as applying topically to the skin, or misting the dog's living area with the essences.
A: Flower essences work to re-balance emotional states that are out of balance. Because of this, if your dog is given any essences that he doesn't need, then you will see no change in your dog, since there won't be anything to balance. Along the same lines, if one animal gets a taste of a formula intended for another, there will be no ill effects.
A: Flower essences complement most other medications and supplements very well. Because they work on a subtle energy level, rather than a biochemical level, they don't conflict with or interfere with other treatments like CBD oil. That said, if your dog is under medical care, it is always best to be safe and consult your dog's health care provider before starting any new supplement or therapy.
Aldaron Essences product questions
A: Any type of animal can benefit from our formulas. I promote them for dogs, because dogs are my area of expertise - not only training dogs, but understanding and addressing the underlying emotions and motivations behind the behaviors that dogs can exhibit. While I do consider myself a student of animal behavior in general, I am not an expert on other species! However, Aldaron Essences are safe for any animal. If you feel the description of the emotions for a formula fits what your cat, horse, rabbit, or other best friend is going through, by all means try it. (And be sure to send me your feedback.)
A: There are other lines of flower essences available for pets, and I am positive there are some really wonderful ones out there. So, why introduce one more line of formulas? This was a serious question for me when I was deciding whether to bring Aldaron Essences remedies to the general public, rather than simply continue to offer them only to my training clients. I am not only a lifelong dog owner and dog lover, I am a dog trainer and canine behavior consultant with over 19 years experience working with thousands of dogs - all ages, virtually every breed, and the whole range of dog behavior problems. For over 15 of those years I have incorporated flower essence therapy into that behavior work. I have always been fascinated with the "whys" in life -- and in training dogs, this drive to discover the dog's motivation behind the problem has served me very well in truly helping dogs, not just offering band-aid fixes to behavior problems. I also count myself blessed in having had a depth of intensive experience working with dogs one-on-one, in addition to teaching and coaching dog owners. Learning to adapt myself to many different canine personalities each day, learning how to bring out the best in each, and the continuous opportunity to practice and apply insight and empathy, has given me, I believe, unique insights into why dogs behave the way they do, and what their motivations are. This ability to empathize, glean underlying emotions and motivations, while keeping the big picture in view is, I feel, what makes Aldaron Animal Essences unique and particularly successful in supporting behavioral wellness in dogs.
A: Rescue Remedy is one combination of 5 Bach flower essences. That particular combination is great stuff - simply wonderful for trauma, either emotional or physical, new or buried. Aldaron Essences formulas (or blends) are simply other combinations of Bach flowers, although several have Rescue Remedy as part of the formula "recipe". The result is, Aldaron Essences formulas address dog behavior issues that go beyond the scope of Rescue Remedy alone, i.e. they address more than just trauma and severe stress. If you look at our formula line, there are combinations that address many different emotional “pictures”, most of which I have come across pretty commonly over the years, both as a trainer/consultant and a dog owner, breeder, and competitor.
A: If you think more than one formula is called for, you definitely can use 2 formulas together. I would say to be sure to choose those that complement each other well. Ideally, they should work together to address a coherent picture of the dog’s behavior. If that's the case, you can either start off giving them at the same time (a few drops or a spray of each, given 3 to 4 times every day). Or you can start with one formula, and give that one exclusively for a couple of weeks (I generally suggest starting with the one that seems to address the dog's most pressing issues), then add in the second formula. The second method has the benefit of giving you an idea of which formula is helping with what. The first method is fine too, though, and may be preferable if the problem is urgent. But either will work.
Sometimes people have a main formula for ongoing, daily issues, but a second formula they want to use to help with less-frequent events like car rides, company visiting, training classes, or dog shows. In that case you can give the main formula daily, then give the second formula in addition, for extra support, before a class, show, company coming over, etc. One schedule for giving the 2nd formula is to give a few doses, 5 to 10 minutes apart, in the half hour or so before the relevant “event”. Another is to give the second formula 3x/day for the two days before, and the day of, the event. I've found there is no one "ideal" timing and frequency -- it tends to vary with individual dogs. So, feel free to play around with what schedule works best for your dog, in those situations.
A: Aldaron Essences flower essence formulas for dogs are blends of the English flower remedies of Dr. Edward Bach. We have a few formulas that also incorporate North American flower essences developed by Flower Essences Services.
A: Aldaron Essences designs canine behavior support formulas made from Bach flower essences and, occasionally, North American flower essences. We do not make our own essences, but rely on these long-proven remedies for our blends.
A: The brandy-preserved flower essence formulas will stay safe and effective for at least 3 years after blending, provided outside contaminants are not introduced to the bottle. The glycerin-preserved formulas will stay safe and effective approximately 18 months after blending. (Contaminants will shorten shelf life, so it's important to keep the dropper clean and untouched.) Since most formulas are blended after the order is placed, you can assume the expiration date will be 3 years (brandy) or 18 months (glycerin) from your purchase date. The actual "best by" date is marked on every bottle label at the time they are blended.
A: In order to stabilizer our flower essence formulas and prevent bacterial growth, a preservative is required. We offer two options: brandy and vegetable glycerin. The traditional preservative for flower essences is brandy, having excellent preservative properties, a highly compatible level of vibration with the flower essences themselves, as well as being a superior carrier to aid absorption via skin and mucous membranes. The brandy in Aldaron Essences formulas is 20% of the total volume, and a dose is generally 3 drops of formula. This works out to your dog getting 3/5 of a drop of alcohol (about one half of one drop alcohol) per dose. This low per-dose amount should have no negative effect on a dog. If such a small amount is still of concern, the alcohol can be evaporated off by putting a few drops of your dog's formula into a little warm water for a few minutes before giving it to the dog. For a more thorough discussion, please see Brandy or Glycerin? Choosing Your Preservative.
A: Vegetable glycerin is a safe, gentle preservative, used commonly for herbal tinctures intended for infants and children. It's alcohol free, slightly sweet tasting, low glycemic, and generally quite palatable. This makes it a good choice for dogs with sensitive stomachs and those that might be highly sensitive to alcohol. Aldaron Essences uses high-quality, food-grade vegetable glycerin made from palm oil, so there is little chance of an allergic reaction.
A: With dogs that have a history of a sensitive stomach when presented with new food, unusual treats, new supplements, etc., please introduce flower essences with the same care you would take with any other dietary change. Instead of starting off with the full recommended dosing schedule, start off very slowly. A possible schedule would be to add one drop of the formula to your dog's water bowl the first day. Does he handle that fine? If so, the second day add one drop. Same for the third day. If all is well, try two drops per day, in the water bowl, for another 3 days. The next 3 days try 3 drops per day. If your dog has no issues, then try adding a drop to his food, once per day for 3 days. Then slowly build up to the full recommended dosage and frequency. This may seem like a tedious way to begin the flower essences, but taking the time to slowly introduce your dog's system to something new could be the difference in being able to use this powerful therapy or not.
A: If none of Aldaron Essences' formula sound quite right for your dog, you have a few options. 1) Prioritize which behavior issues you wish to address. Sometimes it is tempting to try to "throw the kitchen sink" at your dog's behavior problems, but almost always there are more urgent, and less urgent, behaviors. Try to identify which are the top ones to start with and then select a formula to address those issues. 2) Another option is to select two of our formulas to give at once. This way you can cover more behavioral ground at the same time. 3) We have a Design Your Own formula service, in which you select which Bach remedies you'd like in your dog's flower essence blend. Be sure to take advantage of my free flower essence guides for various dog behavior issues to help with this option. 4) You may purchase a telephone consult to have Julie come up with a custom blend for your dog. This is a great option if you're not confident yet selecting your own remedies, or if you're unsure about what emotions are behind your dog's behavior.
A: Unlike essential oils, flower essences do not have any noticeable fragrance. While you may be able to smell the preservative, your dog's flower essence bottle should not smell "flowery".
A: The average for seeing some improvement is about 3-5 days, but some dogs take longer, up to 2 weeks or more. It may simply be the flower essences haven't started working yet.
Another possibility is that the changes have begun, but are subtle, so that you may not yet be picking up on them. "Subtle" is such a difficult concept to convey, when it comes to behavior change. I always advise people to look for little things, generally in areas that the dog is most comfortable and least stressed in. The hardest situations (for the dog) will be the ones you in which see improvement last, in my experience. So, those small changes may not be in the areas you are looking/hoping for change, in the beginning. But if you do see changes in any area, there's a good chance those will build and generalize, so this is a case where "persistence pays".
Again, "subtle" can be tough to pick up on. I have had many people who didn't notice small improvements - until they stopped giving the formula. Then they realized the dog hadn't been reacting to "X" situation, while on it. I've also had clients who didn't notice the changes until some visiting friend observed, "hey, your dog seems better today - what have you been doing?" Sometimes, as with many things in early stages, it takes a fresh pair of eyes.
So, my advice is to keep up with the formulas for at least 2 weeks, preferably a month. Try to keep a record of any changes in quality or quantity of your dog's responses. If it looks like the first blend really wasn't what your dog needed, contact me and I'll be glad to try to help figure out a better formula for her needs.
A: There are several possibilities if your dog's flower essence formula was helping his behavior, and now doesn't seem as effective. It's certainly possible that something happened during shipment that de-energized the formula. I would say this is a very rare occurrence, but if it does happen, contact me for a replacement. Other possibilities are 1) your dog’s needs have changed. Dogs change in their emotional responses, just like humans. It's prudent to re-evaluate regularly to determine if the original flower essences your dog needed are still ones he will benefit from. You may be able to drop some essences, and may want to add some new ones as emotions buried under the surface come to light. 2) Some change in your dog's life has increased his stress. You may need to simply increase the number of doses per day for awhile, or you may need a temporary blend of essences that will address the additional stress. 3) Have you cut back on how many doses you give your dog each day? This is probably the most frequent reason for a formula that was working becoming less effective. Often, a client will tell me they reduced to twice a day, and once they go back to three times per day, the problem is solved. Ideal frequency of doses is a very individual thing. Some dogs do well on two doses per day; others simply need more regularity.
A: Absolutely - toxicity can be a concern with some dogs and some oils. Some dogs are more sensitive, and some oils are more problematic than others. However, flower essences are completely different from essential oils. It’s a common mistake; the names sound so similar. Flower essences are made from pure water that healing flowers have been placed in, to absorb their energy signature, or "essence". They are considered a “subtle energy” therapy – again, very different from oils. Flower essences are not concentrated like essential oils, and have no toxicity.
A: If your dog has a wide variety of issues, I always suggest prioritizing the issues and selecting essences that fit with the most important behaviors to improve. For example, potentially dangerous behaviors should take priority over behaviors that only annoy you or make you sad.
On the other hand, if the problem is that you're unsure what emotions are underlying your dog's behavior, then select essences based on those you're most sure about. Because we can't simply ask the dog how he's feeling when he acts out, it can take some experimenting to figure out what motivates certain behaviors! So, start with small bottles rather than large ones, and re-evaluate your dog's behavior and emotions regularly.
Lastly, don't get stuck in one interpretation of your dog's behaviors and emotions -- be willing to shift your perspective and consider other possibilities for what emotions are driving your dog. It can be an eye-opening experience!