• perkedearstraining

Hey Human, Please Don't Take My Stuff



Dear Human,


I love my bones. Chewing on them relaxes me so much. It feels so soothing to sink my teeth into my favorite bone and gnaw steadily after a boring morning of laying around. It makes me feel like a true dog. On the other hand, I hate it so much when you take my bone away. I have learned that if I want to keep my bone safe to enjoy it, I had better protect it. That is why I try to move away from you, and sometimes growl when you come at me while I chew. I am trying to tell you that I love my bone and want to keep it. Why do you have to take it from me? Taking it away repeatedly while I am in the middle of my relaxing chew time does not help me “get used to it”. I hope this does not continue to happen, I sure do get panicked when I see you coming while I chew…

If you were eating a bowl of ice cream and someone repeatedly came up to you, took your ice cream, and only sometimes gave it back, how would you feel?

Now imagine that the person doesn’t take your bowl, and instead adds whipped cream to your ice cream. You’d probably feel safer about them approaching you now, right?


Love,

Your Dog


Dogs are animals. They have an instinct to protect what is theirs in order to survive. This is normal. We humans guard many many things in life. We have fences around our homes and security systems to alert us if anyone tries to invade our space.

But for some reason, we get offended or hurt when our dog tries to protect their food bowl or treasured bone. We take it personally and think that the dog does not appreciate us. In my experience, the dog is not thinking about us in these moments. The dog is reacting and trying to protect what they find valuable.

If we want to teach our dog that there is no need to guard their stuff, we should create a situation where the consequences reflect that! For example, if I want my dog to not worry about me approaching his bowl while he eats, I should add good things to his bowl(from a distance), instead of bothering him and taking the food away. Then, my dog will have positive feelings about my presence while he is eating instead of panicking.


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