Puppy Partners.

I probably have a fairly unusual view-point where humanities relationship with dogs is concerned. What ever the source of their domestication may have been we have made dogs almost a part of our own species. We trust them with our own young, with the security of our homes, with a large portion of our happiness and in return they give us absolute trust.

In essence I feel that human beings have a huge debt of responsibility towards these creature which as a race we have made our partners.

Nature has played an interesting trick on both of our species with regards to our mutual relationships. Most dogs that I personally have had contact with adore human children and tend to ride herd on them. This is then matched by the fact most humans melt when they have a puppy in their arms or when they see a certain toilet paper advertisement on the television. We adore each other and that on its own makes it relatively easy for us to live together and to work together for mutual advantage.

But turn on your television most days and you’ll find a show somewhere involving a bad owner who has ruined or near ruined the dog that is their responsibility. I’m afraid that the reason for so many dogs with bad behaviour lies very much at humanities feet.

All dogs like to know their place and to know what they should be doing. In short they like to have a job. Up until recently most dogs had jobs in addition to simply being pets. They were herders, hunters, guards, watchdogs and even used those amazing noses of theirs to sniff out fires. So the people who most often had dogs knew to teach them to serve a purpose beyond looking cute and licking noses.

But by this point in time we have had a couple of generations of dog owners who quite simply don’t know how to be dog owners. They don’t know that dogs need to be responsible for something in their environment to feel fulfilled and so they don’t give their dog that duty to fulfill. Indeed they don’t even know how to show their dog that they are a partner.

Being  just a pet isn’t enough for many dogs, maybe even most dogs. But they don’t need a lot more, even being shown that when you leave home they’re to be on guard is enough.

So do you own a dog?  If you do be responsible to them and allow them to be responsible to you and your family. Make them partners in life not a toy with a heartbeat and we’ll all see a lot fewer unhappy pets and owners.

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