Mirroring is when a dog’s behavior mimics a handler's emotions.
Ricochet is like a mirror to the people with whom she interacts, reflecting back their feelings with a sense of confidence. As such, she can help people go inward to find a place of peace while, at the same time, moving outward through their greatest fears.
She can instantly mirror emotional or physical changes in complete strangers. I can typically tell how a person is feeling based on Ricochet’s behavior. She often takes on their emotions, and I notice it manifesting by her body language.
She is driven by the emotions of the individuals she works with. People can’t fool Ricochet. Even if someone tells us they are fine, we always trust what Ricochet is communicating.
Have you noticed your dog mirroring your emotions? Some people even look like their dogs... Or vice-versa!
This video is Ricochet mirroring and alerting to PTSD symptoms of high anxiety. She is very obvious in her body language so it makes it easier to see the cues she's giving. Most dogs are capable of this, but they are a lot more subtle.
First you'll see her mirroring the anxiety of the service member when he goes to walk with her. She plants, has a rigid body, and splays her legs when pressure is put on the leash. She is communicating that his anxiety is too high to go anywhere and he should just pet her until he reduces his stress.
You'll also see her licking her lips and yawning. Those are signs of stress in dogs. She is outwardly showing what he is feeling inside.