We leave food in easy to reach places, kitchen worksurfaces, coffee tables, bins. Perfect places for our dogs to do what has kept them alive as a species for thousands of years. scavenging and foraging, using their nose to find food. And us weird humans shout and get angry, wonder why our dinner got stolen and think of them as bad dogs.
We think sniffing natural things like dead animals and urine is disgusting and yet we constantly try to cover up any natural smells we have with chemicals, often toxic to the world around us. Detergents, perfumes, chemical sprays. We must smell overwhelming and pretty horrid to our canine friends.
We greet each other with a friendly smile, only touching each other when we give consent to do so. And yet we often greet out dogs by leaning over them, patting them on their head. If we greeted humans the way we greeted dogs it wouldn't be long before we had no friends and were arrested for assault.
We leave our dogs alone when we go out or put them in separate rooms. We use doors to confine them when it suits our daily needs. Then we wonder why this hyper-social animal feels distressed.
We have these rather odd things called hands. We touch and feel things with them. We use them to navigate the world, we grasp and pull, we hold and touch. Our dogs don't have hands, they have mouths. They use these to navigate the world around them and yet when they bite and chew, they are often told off.
We talk. We natter away, this jumble of noises that only people from the same place as us can understand. Some of us may be able to speak to some other humans from a few different countries but often struggle even with our own language. Dogs are fantastic communicators. Being able to communicate with other dogs all over the world. How confusing must our jibber jabber be to them? They often understand us a lot better than we understand them and when they do communicate with a bark they are labelled a nuisance.
They can only eat, sleep, have sex, play, socialise, run, sniff, hunt, be free, be dogs! when we enable or allow it.
Our dogs are ridiculously tolerant of our weird human ways.
We owe it to them to be just as tolerant. We owe it to them to learn more about them, communicate and teach them in ways they understand.
They do not have unrealistic expectations of us, they don’t judge or shout at us when we get things wrong. Let's try and be as tolerant and patient with them as they are with us.
Credit - Speak Dog Education with Rebecca Hanlon