Dog Training & Behaviour Blog

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Humanising Dogs Is Resulting In So Many Emotional & Behavioural Issues In Our Dogs.


I find by far, the biggest obstacle confronting the family dog, and the major reason so many of them are not well balanced members of the family and suffer so many behavioural issues, is directly related to an unrealistic and overly emotional connection many owners have with their dog. Too many dog owners are allowing their emotions to override any sense of balanced reasoning, logic, and critical thinking, when it comes to their relationship with their dog. The majority of these are with the smaller breeds, however, definitely not limited too them.

People are being flooded on social media, TV and other types of public media an unrealistic, simplistic, and overly emotional view of dogs and their relationship with us. This overly emotional connection that many people are having with their dog is negatively impacting so many dogs at a deep psychological level, and therefore the dogs relationship with their owners.

The psychological damage we can cause dogs by not understanding (and therefore not relating to them by their) natural instinctive needs, and instead allowing 'extreme' emotional needs to dictate the relationship is the major cause for so many dogs suffering anxiety related issues, which then contribute to behavioural issues such as insecurity, aggression, fear, and overly dominant or assertive behaviours. Over the many years as a professional in this field, I have been to so many homes to help dog owners with their dogs, and observing dogs that cannot switch off and maintain a calm state when humans are around, or when offered attention, or even just the anticipation that a human was arriving to the home. Sadly, so many believed this behaviour was cute, that is until I informed the owner that their dog was in a continuous state of extreme arousal and psychological distress. By helping to remove my clients rose coloured glasses by pointing out the truth, they could then observe the state their dog was actually in, as they stopped viewing the behaviour from their own emotional perspective but from a more logical and critical mind. It was only when this realisation occurred, that we had any hope of helping the dog through its issues.

Sadly though, I have also come across dog owners that refused to remove their rose coloured glasses, because of how deeply emotionally attached to their own beliefs and feelings about their dog they were. This is the major reason so many dogs are eventually placed on psychotropic medications, because the dog is eventually blamed for its psychological state of mind, and therefore its behavioural issues, and not due to the owners own relationship with their dog.

Many dedicated and loving dog owners are unintentionally, due to a lack of informed information, making life for their dog so confusing and stressful, by believe it or not, loving their dog way too deeply, and therefore not maintaining a balance of discipline within their relationship with their dog in a way their dog understands and is actually seeking from their owner. The scales are being tipped way to much in the one direction by many dog owners, due to the 'furbaby' mentality being pushed to the extreme on social media, mainstream TV, and movies; and the result of this is that so many dogs are not receiving the required consistent structure, discipline and guidance they need to coexist with humans in a well balanced state of being.

We need to get right back to basics, where we were almost 20 years ago, when dogs were treated as and related to as a dog, and not as a substitute child, or as a crux to simply fulfill emotional needs in our own life not fulfilled, and therefore not respecting the true nature of "the dog".

"Give your dog companionship, love, and consistent leadership, and your dog will reward you with total loyalty"

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