Once again I tread the minefield of turning our dogs into little human beings. I promise you that I won’t, but there are good, demonstrable reasons to include “Love Your Dog”, into the process of the Communicative Approach. Let me start with the axiom, “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done To You.”
That’s right, the good, old-fashioned “Golden Rule”. In case you are unaware, that was originally written in the Bible book of Matthew chapter 7 verse 12, about 2000 years ago. It’s origin sometimes gets lost these days, but it’s good Life-Counsel no matter the source. I just happen to believe it important to recall the words of Jesus Christ in this context. No translation of the scripture says, “Do Unto Just Other Human Beings…” Nope, they all say some derivative of “Others”, allowing for the conclusion that it applies to all living creatures. Okay, Bible lesson finished…(That didn’t hurt a bit did it?)
All of the separate parts of the Communicative Approach, could technically fall under the umbrella of “Love Your Dog”, but there’s more detail to each and every one that I feel is important . Therefore I’m using Love as a separate feature. I know, as I develop this further that you’ll understand why.
First of all, what is your definition of “Love”? Just think it over for a bit, as there are many ways to describe love. For my purposes here, I will define Love as, “A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a friend…the benevolent affection of Man for his charges …A strong, warm, personal attachment.” This is not romantic ,love, nor is it the love of Principal. No, it just simply means that you are trying to treat your dog as you would like to be treated if you were a dog!
Okay, now imagine that YOU are your dog. See the world thru his eyes, smell thru his nose, hear thru his ears…
From the day you brought your puppy or rescued dog home, he looked to you for nearly everything. You were the source of food, water, play, care, comfort, and (hopefully) leadership. Loving your dog means giving these things freely and in proper amounts. Making your dog know that you will always provide these things…Being prepared and willing to provide the best of these things that you can is part of loving your dog. Does your dog spend most of his time locked in a crate, or small room alone, because you’re busy?? If your dog becomes sick, do you make sure that you consult a Veterinarian? Do you carefully make decisions regarding vaccinations? (This is a touchy subject, as some common vaccinations are actually dangerous and unnecessary) This requires that you make informed decisions…Will you take the time??? Will your dog find itself tied outside to a post or tree in cold, heat, rain, or snow left to create a path where it paces alone wondering where his pack is??? Referencing the Golden Rule, would YOU enjoy that??? Your dog has a sophisticated and active mind. Will you fulfill his mental needs with active play, exercise, and stimulation? And 15 minutes a day is NOT enough. Most behavioral problems have their source in boredom, inactivity, and lack of leadership. Loving your dog means fulfilling these needs, and it takes TIME. Maybe more time than you realize…Never let it be more time than you are willing to give, for your dogs sake. This is a big reason why shelters and rescues are so busy and filled with dogs. (Or should I say “Inmates”?)
Is your dog an “At Will” employee? Meaning that you can “fire” him for whatever reason at whatever time? Some dogs are gotten rid of when they become an “Inconvenience”. Some of these are even “Euthanized” because they become more responsibility than the human wants. Let me re-phrase that so you get the full impact. SOME PEOPLE HAVE THEIR DOG PUT TO DEATH BECAUSE THEY NO LONGER WANT THE RESPONSIBILTY. I grieve at the lack of “Love” that human beings are capable of demonstrating.
I believe you probably understand what loving a dog entails. Time, effort, money, resources, more time, research, a bit more time…But the end results are MORE than worth the efforts!!!
You will always find that “Love” is a part of every facet of communication. It is simply putting yourself in your dogs paws and asking yourself, “If I was a dog, and my owner did that to me, how would I feel?”
Next, we’ll dig into “Live With Your Dog.” Thanks for reading, and please feel free to FOLLOW German Shepherd Adventures by pushing the FOLLOW icon at the top of the page!!!!