Learn Canine Psychology: You’re in Charge of Your Dog’s Thoughts


Understanding the history of dogs and their inherent qualities is helpful whether you plan to train your dog to perform obedience (sit, stay, come) or if you wish to eliminate unwanted behaviors.

All of Our Dogs Are Envious

A dog’s natural tendencies are fully formed from birth. Our canine companions are not human, despite popular belief. Although our dogs share their home with humans, they do not behave or breathe as we do. There is a word for when people attribute human traits to their dogs as a kind of endearment. Anthropomorphism is the label for this concept.

Wikipedia defines anthropomorphism as

When we attribute human traits to things that aren’t humans—natural or supernatural events, secular states or objects, or abstract ideas—we engage in anthropomorphism. Animals and plants are frequently used as examples of anthropomorphism because they are portrayed as sentient beings with human desire and the ability to reason and talk. Other examples include natural elements like winds or the sun, game pieces, invisible or unknown sources of chance, etc. Anthropomorphism can be applied to virtually any object.

In other words, we treat our dogs as human and with the same human traits that we value. Such feelings include envy, rage, grief, spite, etc.

Dogs are just unable to grasp such nuances. It’s possible to put a name to our dog’s reactions to specific events, like hearing him snarl at the delivery of a human infant. They try to get in front of other dogs when we pat them or when we’re paying attention to something else. Our canine companions should be regarded as pack mates.

The litter’s mother and other puppies teach our dogs several fundamental behaviors. They soon determine which group members have earned special access using a herd mentality because of their grit and fortitude. In a dog’s first six to eight weeks of life, you may learn a lot about their personality for the rest of their lives.

When we bring our dogs inside the house, chaos ensues. Many owners dote on their pets and treat them like kids. Molly, spoil them rotten and let them snuggle in bed with you or enjoy other perks typically reserved for the alpha dog. The young dog may display undesirable behaviors like growling and nipping if we treat these advantages as a right rather than a privilege. The younger members of the dog packs showed something to the older pack leaders.

Set Ground Rules

Establishing rules that they transmit to the dog, they are a subordinate inside the dog/family pack, is the finest thing anybody can do from day one with a young pup, an adult pup from a rescue situation, or a dog with behavior problems.

Dogs should have the following things:

Create a private space for sleeping away from home. The safest place would be a cage or kennel. Many people aren’t like this idea since they ‘believe’ (using human logic) that the dog wishes to share the bed with the human family. Of course, it would, but sharing a bed with the family can lead to behavioral issues. They can think they belong in the pack as much as anyone else.

Establish (outdoor) elimination training far from the primary family location. This also guarantees that the dog has a regular schedule and that the primary living space is reinforced.

Don’t let your dog run amok in the house or the common areas. There could be future issues with it napping on couches, rooms, etc. if it learns it can go anywhere it pleases.

You should take the lead in integrating the dog wherever possible. Dogs may exhibit behaviors like whining or begging if they are continuously ‘wanting’ to play or chasing you for attention. The howling and whining are often misinterpreted as signals of boredom. Usually, this is a dog expressing its displeasure with the current circumstances.

Have the dog ‘earn’ things like pats, food, or attention by obeying a command whenever possible. Such behaviors include sitting in exchange for a treat, staying still before passing through a gate or door, and so on. You’ll have shown yourself and the world that you’re in charge, not the other way around.
Keep in mind that the dog is not here for the dog’s pleasure but for ours. A dog is content after learning to follow the norms of its home and pack. When a dog is treated like a human and given the perks that only humans get, it may develop bad habits like hostility, barking, clawing, digging, etc., because it believes it is entitled to them.

So, what should we do?

It’s time to stop treating your dog like a human and more like a dog. We like the dog to be a follower rather than a pack leader. It’s essential to recognize dogs as the pack animals they are. The rest of the group gives leaders in a pack special treatment. These established leaders impose their authority using aggressive and violent means. Unless there’s a medical issue, this is usually what’s at the bottom of a dog’s bad conduct.

The adage that prevention is better than treatment rings true regarding canine health. You and your dog will get along better in the long run if you are firm and consistent with them from the start. While I certainly don’t advocate being cruel and ignoring your dog, I do think it’s vital to lay the groundwork for a positive relationship with your pet as soon as possible so that you never find yourself in a position where you feel like you have no choice but to give it up to a shelter or, worse, euthanize it because it’s driving you crazy.

My website features much more material, including incredible tales about police dogs and their handlers. You are welcome to stop by anytime.

Visit [http://www.ozdogtrainer.com.au] to get a copy of my free booklet, “The 3 Hidden Dog Training Secrets,” and learn how to teach your dog like a pro.

Owner and head dog trainer Glen Wilson spent 14 years in the Queensland, Australia, Police Dog Squad. He won police dog competitions in Queensland, Australia, and New Zealand.

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