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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

How to become your dog’s best friend

If you ever move home to a new location and have to build a new group of friends, you will be drawn to people with similar aspirations and values to yourself. Birds of a feather flock together, as they say.

You won’t be attracted to people who demonstrate no understanding or empathy for your goals or lifestyle. Dogs are no different.

When you treat a dog as you would another human, he will know you have little understanding of his priorities. The process is called anthropomorphism – the attribution of human characteristics to animals and the major stumbling block in forming a real bond with your dog.

Let me give you an example. When a leader returns to his pack after an absence, he stands tall, makes no eye contact and waits for the pack to fuss over his return, confirming his status.

It takes less than a minute and, once performed, he mixes freely with his pack.
What do we do when we have been away from our dogs for a period of time?

We fuss them, believing we are showing love. But in their world, we are bestowing leadership status upon them. This can be confusing to a young dog who wants to have a leader, not be one. For an older dog, it can lead to dominance and aggression.

Far better to ignore your dog on reconnecting, glance through your mail, and make a cup of coffee, by which time your dog will have settled down and you can go about your day with your relationship reaffirmed.

Failure to understand canine communication is the major cause of dog behaviour problems. Once you have a genuine insight into how your dog thinks, you will form a relationship you never imagined.

I watched a farmer and his dog herd 50 cows down the road yesterday. It was like a ballet, both dog and owner were in perfect sync. I doubt more than six words were spoken.

You can have that relationship with your dog once you learn his language.
Join one of my classes online at vicbarlow.com text 07590 560 012.

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