Let Dogs Be Dogs First, Then Pets

posted in: .. By SonjaHelga 0

dog obedience

Good Morning Hart.  I posted this article on my adoption blog , but I also want to share this with your good readers 🙂  So many times we forget that our dogs are NOT human.  Oh sure, we humanize them, but, that is for our own selfish reasons, not theirs.  The best we can do for our dogs is to let them be dogs.  That is demonstrating true love towards our canine family members.

I am an animal. I am a dog. I am your dog. I am a certain breed of dog. I am your pet. As your pet, you have given me a name.

Animal: First and foremost I am an animal. I have animal instincts and animal attributes. If you do not allow me to be an animal, you are putting me into an unnatural state of being. Or, as Cesar Millan says, you are putting me out of my natural balance. You really need to allow me to be what I am supposed to be according to nature. Mother Nature herself!

Dog: I am also a dog, and as a dog I also have certain attributes. One of them is: I travel in packs. My pack has a leader and I am a follower, (unless I am the dog pack leader that is). Otherwise I follow. It comes natural to me.

That is why you, as the family members, need to pick up the role of pack leader. I mean, if none of you do it, I have to do it. And, I really don’t even want to. Although some of my other canine friends really do love being the leader. I am a golden, and I love to be social, lovable and I love to follow.

As a dog in the pack no one calls me by name. The pack leader does not correct me by giving me lectures, by threatening me, or by yelling at me. The pack leader will normally "bite" me to get my attention. But mostly, as followers in the pack, we know instinctively what to do and what not to do.

– We let the pack leader eat first.
– We let the pack leader choose the way, we follow, we don’t run ahead, run way off to the side, and we follow.
– In nature, we move forward, we move ahead. Hence, we need lots of walks, not ambling along, but real walks.

These are just some of the things we do as pack members. We also respect our leader. That’s why you need to teach us to respect you. Dogs can love their humans without respecting them. If you don’t act as leader, you won’t get the respect.

I am also a specific breed of dog . It is very important that you study the breed of dog you have. That way you will discover what their "purpose" was meant to be. What genes do they have cursing through their body? What comes naturally to them? What do they love doing? What were they bred to do?

Example: I am a retriever. So, guess what I am bred to do? Retrieve! Yes, I do not hunt, in the sense of stalking and killing my prey. I retrieve what my trainer has taught me to retrieve. And, I do it so naturally. I love to do it; that is why I love playing ball so much.

So when you come home, and I run to grab something to put in my mouth to greet you with, well, that’s what I do. I want to meet you with something in my mouth. So, if you don’t want me to take what is yours, make sure I have something of mine I can grab.

That’s what I mean. You need to develop the breed part in your dog! Allow your dogs to grow within their own nature. You may have a working dog, a watch dog, toy dog, there are so many. But, find out how your dog wants to behave, and then help it to become what it should be.

You will have a much happier and well balanced dog.

Lastly, I am your pet. I have a name . Did you know that over 70% of the dogs really don’t even know their names? Owners just think they do. As a dog, I respond to your tone of voice, to repetition, to habit. Before you assume your dog knows its name, test your dog.

See: http://www.happypetstop.com/dognamesheet.shtml

And as a pet you have socialized me. That means I now need to learn how to behave over and above my natural instincts. It is your duty to teach me how to be social.

Don’t let me run around and bark at random; the neighbours will hate me. I don’t want that.

When you walk with me, make me sit off to the side if someone else is going faster and wants to pass us. Also, recognize the fact that some people are afraid of big dogs, like me. Make your dog sit and allow these people to admire your dog from a few feet away. People who are afraid can love dogs; they just want to love them from a bit further away.

Don’t let you dogs run lose in the park, or anywhere open if you can’t call them back. No dog should be running off leash if they have not learned the recall.

Don’t let your dog pull and tug when you stop to talk to someone. Don’t let them jump up or around you. Make them sit till you are ready to move.

Remember, the more courteous you are the more people will be supportive of dogs and pets in general. Be a promoter of good faith for dogs. It’s your duty to teach your dog manners in public, or in the home for that matter.

When you walk and you see others come towards you, like a stroller, or mommy with small kids, or even someone else walking their unruly dog, go off to the side again, make your dog sit nicely, let the others go by and continue your walk. It’s a great way to gather goodwill for your dog.

And lastly, take me for daily walks. I need them, I love them. And, they keep me healthy and out of trouble!

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