This very relaxed dog is Bailey. For her birthday this year, Bailey's generous human companions gave her the gift of a Reiki session with me. Lucky me!
I love giving animal Reiki, and it was a joy to work with sweet (and energetic!) Bailey. Now to be clear, Bailey did not stay in this position for a whole hour. She circled and rolled around and scouted out sounds in the house and gave me kisses and wagged her tail a lot. This is quite common during sessions with dogs. I often give Reiki in doses, waiting until a dog is ready to receive the energy (you know: a little Reiki here, a little Reiki there). Sometimes it takes a while for very energetic and active dogs to slow down. What seemed to calm Bailey the most was when I placed one hand on her chest over her heart and the other between her shoulder blades. This position is often quite comforting for dogs (it makes them feel safe and reassured), and in the case of Bailey, it let me feel her heartbeat slow from a racing to a resting pace. [Insert big, deep doggie breath here.]
I also think this hand placement is particularly effective with dogs because dogs are very heart-centered creatures. The love, affection, and acceptance they receive from humans is of paramount importance to them. I also believe their capacity for strong loyalty comes from this heart place as well. When we connect to their heart, we may well be connecting to their raison d'etre.
If you are a companion (or friend) to a dog who tends to be very energetic or anxious, try the technique I describe above: place one hand on the chest over the heart and one on the back between the shoulder blades. Breathe slow deep breaths so your dog can feel your energy shift to one of relaxation, too. Feel your own heartbeat slow as your dog's does as well. Not only does this exercise help relax your dog, but it also allows you to have a calm, connecting moment with your canine friend.