Do you want to feel better about your dog’s “problems”?

Here’s a nice post from Casey Lomonaco on “the myth of normal dogs.” As the always-training owner of a troubled dog, this resonated with me.

Lomomaco asks us to “Carefully review the list of normal dog behaviors* [that she gives].  If these are not the behaviors you want, you need to train your dog to offer abnormal behaviors.” And she’s dead on: abnormal behaviors are exactly what we want from our dogs. These desirable (to humans) but not-so-natural behaviors include things like walking calmly on leash – even when passing something distracting, not going into the trash can, greeting guests at the door with a bone instead of a bark, letting strangers pet them: just about all the things that make friends, neighbors, and strangers on the street say, “My what a good dog you have!”

* These include biting, chewing, barking and growling, digging holes, vocalizing when left alone, liking to run around as fast as they can – even if they knock over small children or grandma in the process, sniffing everything, and rolling in poop and dead things.

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2 Responses to Do you want to feel better about your dog’s “problems”?

  1. Pascale says:

    why do we always want dogs/pets to behave normal? and what is normality? is human behaviour normal in the eyes of a dog …

    • annieriecken says:

      I’m pretty sure our behavior is not at all normal to dogs, and we ask them to do things that dogs don’t usually do, and not to do things that dogs do usually do – but they live with us, not we with them, so we ask them to conform to our ways.

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