Getting to know that dog of yours

Do you understand dog behavior?  I mean real dog behavior?  Many people think they understand it but few actually do.  If you live with a dog you should do some reading and find out about your dog.  Over the years I have met many, many people who have no idea about dog behavior.  Even people who have lived with dogs for years, can still know nothing about dogs.  Why?  Because if we don't do some research and learn how dogs are different from us; then we typically just take what our dogs do and put a human twist on it. How many dog behavior articles have you pushed aside, thinking that you didn't need to read them?

There is a great deal of information out there; much of which can be misleading.  I recommend sticking with the material that is either scientifically based or comes from someone who is into the positive form of behavior modification.  You see the old ways of doing things, attempting to change behavior by the yank and choke method teaches little to either dog or human.  Yanking on the dog was and is for some trainers still a method to stop the dog from doing something that the human doesn't want.  It gives no option of an appropriate alternative; stated by the yank as a "just stop" order. 

In our day to day life with dogs, we need to be able to read what they are saying and get our message across to them.  If you do not understand how dogs communicate then you are not going to be able to do any communicating. When humans treat dogs as humans, everything goes awry.  We, as in humans tend to see canine behaviors and interpret them into human.  Even some dangerous behaviors are seen as cute when humans turn the situation into human.

There are so many canine videos out there being posted as cute that are simply not cute.  Many are seen as cute because the human does not understand canine communications.  Like the one of the Siberian husky objecting to going in his crate by vocalizing.  The owner continues to push so that we can all see the adorable objections from his dog.  So many people thought that this is just adorable when it is anything but. 

Don't even get me started on all of the baby and dog videos.  Sure there are cute ones out there but many people see dangerous ones as cute because they don't understand canine behavior or signals.  Unless you learn about canine behavior, signals and communications then you cannot understand what you are seeing.  Most recently I watched a dog trying to shake a baby from his dog bed as the parents sat laughing.  Nothing cute about it. 

Almost everyone has a dog; but very few take the time to really learn about dogs.  It is the one "pet" and I hate to even use the "pet" term but use it to make a point.  If you were getting a pot bellied pig, you would do a ton of research about pigs.  If you were to add a miniature horse to your family; you would probably do a great deal of research on these little guys, correct?  You would want to know all about your new addition.  But not dogs, dogs have been by our side for so long that many don't even think about them being so different than us. 

Dogs are very different from us.  They are not little furry humans.  They are highly intelligent, far more intelligent than most people give them credit.  They can adapt to living in our crazy human world; melding with ease and do for the most part, what we ask of them. We should at least learn a little bit about the dog we live with.  

Do you know what your dog is saying?  Do you know how to properly communicate with your dog? 

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