The term “it’s a dog’s life” is often used to describe how easy something is, because the perception is that all dogs need to do is eat and sleep, get cuddles and go for walks (with the assumption that those walks are enjoyed). Knowing what I know about dog psychology thanks to the excellent teachings of Jan Fennell I know that for the vast majority of dogs, a dogs life is far from easy! Dog have to worry about a huge number of things, which can cause them stress, including:
- Regular break-in attempts (postman)
- Intruders (your invited guests)
- Their babies frequently going missing (when you go out to work)
- Trying to get their babies to come back (toiletting indoors, or barking while you are out)
- Their babies returning from being missing
- Boundary wars (neighbours’ dogs)
- Being in ‘no man’s land’ (going for a walk)
- Protecting from 100s of dangers (cars, vans, buses, people, paper bags blowing down the street, beards)
- Having to keep everyone entertained (hyperactive behaviour)
- Being in charge of the hunt, and always unsuccessfully so (going for walks)
- Maintaining their place in the hierarchy (attention seeking behaviour, jumping up, humping etc)
I help dog owners get their dogs to the point where their lives do feel easy, by showing them leadership signals that they understand, so that they know we are looking after them. They don’t have to protect us from any dangers, keep us in check, worry about us when we go out etc. All they need to do is eat and sleep and come for cuddles and interaction when we ask them to, as their leader, so they know that it must be for their benefit.
A client I went to see 4 days ago just called to ask a quick question, and when I asked how she was getting on in general she said “It’s fantastic, I have calm dogs, I’m baffled how something so simple can make such a difference so quickly” – her dogs have seen the leadership signals and decided that they are happy to pass over responsibility, now they really can live a dog’s life. For more information about the sorts of behaviour problems that might exist if your dog isn’t living a dogs life, visit my home page by clicking here.
P.S. I am aware of the occasional incorrect grammar, I’ve had to do it this way to help get the blog found!