Sunday, 1 July 2007

'Help my dog wont stop..."

Barking, beating up my other dog, crapping on my carpet, weeing up my walls, biting the neighbours, biting me, howling while I'm at work......

And a gajillion other things a dog can do, that an owner would rather it didn't do.

Welcome to my world, I am a dog behaviourist.
I don't have a certificate that says that, I didn't do a college or university course and get a diploma or a degree.

I sat around, and I watched dogs, and talked to dogs and listened to dogs (really.. my life is so exciting). So now, I know how dogs think, and I have a genetic inability to keep my mouth shut...

So when Joe Bloggs says 'why does my dog' and 'why won't my dog stop...' I tend to know the answer.

And heres the kicker... the answer is usually the owner, not the dog.

Dog problems, problem dogs, 99% of these are human problems and problem humans.

So if you are asking yourself 'why does my dog'... well firstly he does whatever because he is a dog, and secondly......

User Error!

Your dog pees in the house because dogs dont usually have carpeted homes that cover vast spaces. Dogs live in tiny little dens they can just about turn around in, or they live in a big heap of other dogs wherever its shaded from wind and rain. They can pee where they like, YOU put him in a home, you bought carpet and sofas, you lock him in 8 hours a day or more....

You go live in a wood, live in a cave, your dog wont pee on your carpet!

Your dog barks all day and irritates the neighbours because hes alone and he is bored.
Normal canine life is as part of a large social family group. Those who stay 'home' do so in a group, those who go out to 'work' do so in a group - the only canines left out on their own are those thrown out of the group and left to fend for themselves, ie die.

Still surprised that Poochy howls all day when you abandon him to die alone?

Of course you can't go and live in the woods and eat squirrels for the rest of your life, as much as your dog would enjoy it. You can't stay home all day with Poochy because you wouldn't earn the money to pay the rent or the mortgage or eat.

As sarcastic and flippant as I can be, I do understand these things, of course I do - I'm sure as hell not typing this from a cave, my broadband connection ain't provided by the fairies!

What I'd like, (asides from world peace, more chocolate and pert, bouncier boobies), is for those of us who choose to own a dog, do so with some careful consideration. Understand that your dog is a dog, not a furry human. Understand he has instinctive needs, his specific breed or breed mix drives him to behave in certain ways. Consider his needs and your own and see how they match up, make compromises where necessary.

Daily I see dogs with owners who don't understand them. Some because they just miss the point (hell we all know people like that), and some because they don't consider a dogs opinion worthy of taking into account...(yep thems the folks that need lining up and shooting).

Owning a dog should be a great thing, its something humans have done for a damn long time, it should be a mutually beneficial, rewarding relationship.

Yet so often its an unbalanced unhealthy damaging relationship, with the owner as the bully and the dog as the victim.

You only need watch Cesar Milan to see how commonly people believe that a dog should be mentally and physically dominated by their owners at all times, yet I seriously doubt many people would like to be dominated in the same way by their other human family members!

If you think Cesar is a great guy, I have a little test for you.. when your girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife comes in tonight, ask them to do something for you, and if they dont move immediately.. give them a dig in the neck with two rigid fingers.
Keep on doing that until you get the response you want (Ill suspect you'll end up with a slap in the face or single before that happens though).

Then ask your Significant Other if they felt secure, safe, loved and wanted whilst you were doing that. Did they respect you? Did they trust you?

Did they F!!!!

Drawing comparisons between human and canine behaviour is often frowned upon, but think about this. Dogs and man have worked and lived together for thousands of years - do you think that would be the case if there WEREN'T strong similarities in our basic natures?

Thats all for today folks - be kind to yourselves and your dogs.

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