What can YOU do for your dog?

The article below is written by Rebecca at Speak Dog who we think is just awesome. Thank you for keeping us all learning about how to be better guardians of our animals.

Just because a dog behaves well in societies eyes, does not make their human a dog expert.

I see plenty of ‘well behaved’ dogs trying to communicate with their humans but their communication falling on deaf ears. I see scared dogs, uncomfortable and unhappy dogs that get praised for being quiet and well behaved.

There are people out there that work tirelessly at being amazing advocates for their dog. That understand their dog. That continue to educate themselves about dogs. Some of these people have dogs that walk beautifully with them, that love everything and everyone, who hang off every word they say and some of these people have a dog who society deems as badly behaved. There are so many factors that contribute to how a dog behaves. Their human is just a part of it. There are plenty of dogs who struggle but have amazing humans.

Many dogs walk around with people who think they are amazing dog people but who dont realise that they actually just got lucky and have a dog that is well behaved inspite of them, not because of them.

A person that can get their dog to obey them says nothing about their understanding about dogs as a species.

The people that really impress me are the people that make no apology for putting themselves out for their dog.

The people that walk their dog at 5am in the morning because their dog is socially sensitive and that’s the best time to walk them.

The people that make no apology for not being able to come out because their dog is under the weather or may need comforting in a firestorm.

The people who sit on the floor because they dont want to disturb their dog.

The people that dont take their dog to the pub because although they would love it, they know their dog doesnt.

The people that have bubble wrapped the whole of their house to protect their furniture whilst they support their new dog who is terrified of the world. (Yes this is a client I have at the moment who I think is amazing!).

The people that are brave enough to tell other people to not stroke their dog whilst the other person looks at them like they are mad, because all dogs love to be stroked by strangers, right?

The people that always know that they need to learn more about dogs because they cannot possibly know everything about such a complex, beautiful species.

So if you want to impress with how great you are with dogs. Dont try and get them to sit, give paw or lie down. Show what YOU can do for your dog, not what they can do for you.

To all the lovely people out there that constantly impress me with their efforts to be better humans for their dogs. Dont listen to the people who think they know best. Keep up the good work.

I will let you into a little secret. Training dogs to do things is pretty easy. But understanding them, being able to communicate with them,compromising for them, earning their love and trust but not expecting it and being their advocate, is not always quite so easy.

You can be lucky enough to have dogs that fit in with the world easily, all your life. But dont assume that because a dog is not behaving the way society thinks they should, that it is the humans fault or because they dont know anything about dogs.

All dogs are unique and until you have spent time with every single one of them, you still have a lot to learn 😉

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Ruth Martin

I have been volunteering at APROP since April 2018. You will normally find me there on Tuesday mornings, helping to care for, clean and feed the dogs. In 2019 I adopted Barney, a Podenco from APROP. In fact I have taken a distinct liking to the Podencos and some call me the Pod-Mother! I am also part of the adoptions team the fundraising team and I help by fostering dogs too. Helping animals brings me much joy and happiness into my life.