Monday, April 30, 2012
Why Dogs Do What They Do
Dogs have an extraordinary ability to adapt to the lifestyles and circumstances they are put in. All dogs think whatever they do is ok. If they didn't, they wouldn't act the way they do because it would get them nothing. A dog's behavior must satisfy a need, no dog will do anything that isn't to their advantage. Dogs do not distinguish right from wrong - they only learn what behaviors will get them what they desire. In order to learn how to live in our world without stress and strife, you - as a primate - must learn to think like a canine. Like children, dogs don't come with a set of instructions.
In my experience, no matter how severe a dog's behavioral problems are, 90% of the time, the problems are man-made. We are the ones who are guilty because we - and those who may have lived with our dog before us - are instrumental in forming his inner world and how he relates to our world. Consciously or not, we are constantly teaching our dogs - and our children - what to do and what not to do.
Not much different then humans really. If something words, we stick with it. If it doesn't work, we abandon it. If it is rewarding, feels good, makes us feel useful or loved or whatever reward we need for our own ego, we use it. But there are always the rules of society that govern most of what we do when we are interacting with each other. In the same way, our rules govern how are dogs should interact in our world.