Over thousands of years, humans have successfully domesticated the dog, but we will never be able to change it from an animal with their natural instincts. We cannot change a dog into having human characteristics, as this is how behaviour problems can arise. Dogs have very different thought processes and patterns.
By their nature, a primal instinct keeps the pack secure and happy. Instinctively, in a pack, dogs test those “ranked” above them, whilst they know that they, likewise, will be tested by those below them. If there is not a strong leader, instinct tells them that the lives of their pack may be at stake.
When not satisfying a dog’s natural instincts, we create confused and unhappy dogs. To happily coexist with man’s best friend, we need to understand our canines and satisfy THEM, rather than only satisfying ourselves. Instinctively, dogs need to follow rules and guidance; they need to know their limits, as to what they are allowed to do. Living with humans, they form a pack, but for this relationship to work, the human must become the dog’s “pack leader”.
If humans only give love to the dog, a serious mistake is made by overlooking the other needs of the dog. In nature, by its breed, the dog has a role and these needs should be fulfilled. While the dog enjoys the affection, this does NOT necessarily satisfy him, nor does it make him well-balanced, stable-minded, secure nor happy. Giving your dog affection is important for the human, and enjoyed by the dog, but must be done at the correct times.
Dogs live in the moment, they do not live in the past or the future, as humans do. By treating your dog kindly in a self-assured manner from the start, you can turn him into a happy, stable dog which you will need to correct at the right time and give him love at the right times. Following these guidelines, the more stable, calm, and submissive your dog will become.
The dog does not possess the same reasoning skills as a human. Although dogs have emotions, these are NOT the same as we humans have. Dogs are simple creatures with instincts, lacking complex thought processes. They live in the moment and do not/cannot plan for the future. They have and can feel emotions which they pick up on when their human is happy or sad.
Dogs have a better sense of smell than humans and are also in touch with other senses that humans are not. Dogs can sense fear, probably through the scent of pheromones. Some dogs can sense when a human is about to have a seizure even before the person knows, possibly detecting a change in human pheromones. While humans can hide feelings from each other, there is no hiding them from dogs.
Dogs are naturally walkers, and this is very important in keeping them mentally stable and stimulated. A large garden will not satisfy their need to exercise and walk because they will also need the stimulation of different scents and textures to be found in the environment, "reading the newspaper".
This web site has been written by Sally Hopkins (unless the author of the web page is stated otherwise).
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