Do You Understand Your Dog, Or Are You Only Expecting Your Dog To Understand You?
Too often we bring a new puppy or dog into the home and just expect it to understand us and adapt to the way we live. Unfortunately, life for a dog within a human family is not quite that simple. This is why we come across so many dogs with psychological issues such as anxiety, insecurity, irrational fears. Or issues such as hyper-arousal or overly stimulated states that the dog has no control over. Or behavioural issues such as aggression that the dog doesn't understand is an issue, for which the dog then gets the blame for.
If our reason for having a dog is to only expect it to fulfill our own emotional needs, and expecting our dog to instinctively adjust to our lifestyle without us making the effort to understand our dog from its perspective, then we are being very unfair to our dog.
Over the 35+ years I have been involved in this profession I have been to literally hundreds if not thousands of homes whereby the dogs owner didn't even realise their dog was living in a confused and therefore distressed state due to not understanding their human family, and in most cases, all because the owners didn't make the effort to understand their dog, or were offered the wrong overly emotive advice, or watched too many fantasy movies about dogs and then unknowingly incorporating this fantasy into their relationship with their dog.
It's our responsibility, as responsible dog owners, to understand our dog from its perspective, and not pass that burden on to our dog to try and understand us. Its just way too stressful, for both dog and owner, to expect our dog to "just work it out".
If you are not sure you understand your dogs needs for it to live a well-balanced life as a member of your family, or you are having behavioural issues with your dog, then please, for the welfare of your dog, seek out professional assistance. Having a professional "balanced" dog behaviour specialist / trainer visit your home even for 2 to 3 hours could be a life changing moment for both you and your dog. Even if you feel your dog doesn't have any issues, I am sure in many cases a professional will point out to you that there are, and you are just not aware of them. Having a well-balanced social dog goes way beyond just teaching it simple commands like sit, down, shake hands, roll over, etc, etc for a treat.
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