What Do Dogs Really Want?

Humans have created a wide array of dog breeds by tinkering with genetics and new “breeds” are coming out all the time by industrious dog breed mixologists. Very wee to ultra large, shaggy or short haired, hypoallergenic, functional or decorative — it really isn’t that hard to find a canine make or model (or two) that can fit into your lifestyle at any given point in time of the human life cycle.

I’ve written in the past about mismatches — i.e., acquisition of dogs on impulse without doing due diligence to assess the potential of success in the human/dog relationship — or circumstances that jeopardize the stability of a dog’s home  — certainly the foreclosure crisis has forced many to downsize and lose their companions in the process.

Sometimes the relationship of owner(s) and dog is love AND like at first sight –that is definitely how it has been with several of the dogs in my life — and the process of bonding and communicating the needs and wants of each species’ expectations towards the other, perhaps bumpy at times, ultimately develops into a healthy and symbiotic relationship. Sometimes it takes a lot longer to adjust and the path is fraught with complications. Other times, I assure you more rarely, it hardly seems any effort is involved as the needs and wants are seamlessly interwoven in a developing partnership between person(s) and canine.

When things go awry in the relationship — ignoring the problems or getting mad (at the dog or  a family member or yourself ) without attempt to change or learn how to improve often ends up poorly. Either the dog leaves — in one form or another, or the modification to a lifestyle by the behavior of an animal creates ongoing tension. It doesn’t have to be that way. It isn’t rocket science (and I’ve taught rocket scientists who needed to learn about dog behavior!) and it doesn’t have to be forceful or dominant or overbearing or stressful. It just needs to be clear and realistic and fair.

Feel free to read deeper and learn more or email to discuss the different options for helping make yours A Better Pet.

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