Your dog might annoy you sometimes, but guess what…you annoy her too! Here are some common ways that humans try to force their dogs to be someone they are not.
Lack of discipline and structure
Dogs naturally live in a hierarchy. They instinctively understand and desire structure and discipline, but people don’t always work this way and we must make an effort to provide our dogs with schedules and boundaries they can count on. They like knowing where they stand in the pecking order (which is below the humans in the household) and they want to be able to count on you. That means trying to keep a mealtime schedule, having a predictable and consistent bonding or playtime and getting regular exercise.
Placing value on things
Dogs understand the value of resource, but resources are things like food and shelter. They will never understand why we are angry that they destroyed our shoes. Don’t try to place your value system on to your dog, but instead try to understand the way he or she sees life. Shoes, pillows and Christmas trees are just “stuff” to him. Don’t punish him if he doesn’t value stuff like you do. If an item is important to you, make it inaccessible to him, but don’t expect him to know not to damage it.
Expecting her to be friends with other dogs that you know
We have human friends and they may have dogs. We expect our dog to be friends with their dogs as well, but this just might not work. Dogs understand the value of coordination and teamwork, but they see us as their pack, not your friend’s dog. If your dog doesn’t play well with a dog that you wish he would, give him space and keep everyone safe. Allow gradual acclimation and understand that some dogs just never will be friends.
Dogs are dogs and they have a different way of seeing the world than humans. Humans are supposed to be the brains of the operation, so make it your business to learn as much as you can about how your dog thinks. Think about life in a wolf pack. Our dogs are not wolves, but they share some similarities in their social structure. The more you know about your dog’s instincts and behaviors, the better friend you can be to him.
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