What Dogs Want

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

What Dogs Want

by Phil Miller

Ah yes... you think to yourself, that's an easy one. "Ask me what women want and I'm stumped. But dogs... now that's easy!" Fair enough. Sure, for all of us guys out there, we stand a much better chance of understanding our canine friend better than our wife or girlfriend. However, let's not minimize the complexities of canine psychology. And, in understanding the thought process of a dog, there is one central theme that we constantly find ourselves confronted with. Put quite simply, it can all be summed up with this: Dogs should NOT be treated as humans.

Working in the world of dogs everyday, I constantly meet well-intentioned dog owners who make the mistake of treating their dog in the same way they would treat their 3 year old child. And, often times, this makes the owner very happy. However, too often, this happiness comes at the expense of their dog's health, happiness, and well being. And, interestingly enough, people often times think that the smaller the dog, the more of a human it must be. You'll notice that it's often the little dogs that end up getting carried around like babies. Just in case you need an example, Paris Hilton fits the cliche perfectly as she would saunter around frequently carrying her jewelry laden dog like a baby. And, while the world is probably better off if Paris doesn't have a baby, let's also have some compassion for the dog that is getting treated like a baby.

So, at this point, you're probably thinking that I've told you what dogs don't want but I haven't brought us any closer to establishing what dogs want. The answer to this question is more complex than the length of this article will allow, but always try to answer this question in the context of dogs' interactions with each other. You'll notice how they communicate and you'll begin to notice their body language. You'll notice one dog tends to become the pack leader in a group and keeps the other dogs in line. You are to be that pack leader. Of course, nobody expects you to get down on all fours and run around the neighborhood with your pack (although I would pay money to see that), but you need to begin thinking about communicating with your dog in a way your dog understands. For example, rather than yelling and screaming, try holding the dog down on the ground in the way a pack leader would to show domination.

So just remember, a human baby would certainly be out of place getting treated like a pup in a pack of dogs. The opposite is true for dogs being treated like a human baby. Just let your dog be a dog.

Phil Miller
(352) 628-7388

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