3 March 2011

If your dog could talk...

It is amazing what we can learn from the behaviour of our dogs. It’s very natural for people to reason and explain dog behaviour in a human way – it’s all we know! To start thinking more like your dog is the start to enriching your lives together.

The Top 10 Things your dog is trying to tell you:

  1. Instinct tells me I need 3 things to stay alive – food, shelter and belonging to a pack with a strong leader.

  2. To a human, being the head of the family means going to work and paying the bills. But that doesn’t mean you are a capable leader in my eyes! For me to understand you’re in charge, you have to behave and communicate like a DOG leader.

  3. Being the leader isn’t a choice – instinct dictates that the position belongs to the strongest, most consistent pack member regardless of whether we want the job or actually feel overwhelmed by it.

  4. We subtly figure out who the strongest is by testing each pack member. Tests can be overt and physical like jumping up on you, or subtle and passive like requesting a pat or food from you.

  5. When you respond to my demands, you indicate to me that I’m the stronger pack member. That obligates me to take on all the responsibilities of leader like having to assess everyone and everything that approaches or enters our pack 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Phew!

  6. I am not always the best judge of situations in a human world. Because of that, you will see that I tend to approach everyone the same whether they’re the Avon lady or the axe murderer!

  7. Barking, snarling, growling and snapping are often signs that I’m stressed. Please take it just as seriously whether I’m 7 or 70 pounds.

  8. I often have no idea what you are saying to me or why I am in trouble with you.

  9. You may not yet be the leader you intend to be. You'll have to show me you’re worthy of my admiration, faith, and devotion...in a dog way.

  10. You provide me with the food and shelter I need to stay alive. It’s just as important you show me you’re the strong leader I need. That’s the only thing that will relieve me of the burden of doing the job myself. I really just want to be free to lie in a sunny spot and sleep my days away!
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