“Once when I had remarked on the affection quite often found between cat and dog, my friend replied, “Yes. But I bet no dog would ever confess it to the other dogs.”
- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
As humans, we love to think that we are the centre of our dog’s world, and that we’re the most important relationship in their life. The reality of it is that no matter how much we love our dogs, and how much they love us, we simply cannot provide the interaction that another dog does.
As humans, we can find it difficult to engage our dog in a very doggy way. Let’s be honest, we’re not going to sniff their bum. We can’t play racy-chase games the same way; we can’t dive under things and we won’t wrestle with them using our teeth.
We’re not going to snuggle with them in their doggy bed and fall asleep. We don’t eat from their bowls, and we don’t interpret the world in the same way. We don’t necessarily give off the right body language in scary situations. Sometimes, being human makes things worse.
As standard, humans tend to tell dogs off when they jump up to say hello. We actually encourage it! When a dog says hello to another dog, they are pretty much at eye level. If a St. Bernard says hello to a Chihuahua, the Chihuahua will look up, the St Bernard will look down. They compromise so that they are able to greet each other. It’s a doggy handshake. Every time we tell a dog off for jumping up, really we’re snubbing their attempt at a handshake with us. We’re not entering a compromise, but demanding they adhere to our body language.
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