Sometimes it’s easy to forget that dogs aren’t human. We name them, talk to them and of course raise them. Humanizing dogs isn’t the end of the world, but sometimes we forget that the behaviors they do on a day to day basis are normal, dog behaviors. It’s very easy to get frustrated when you hear barking or see your dog jump up on the counter to see what’s available. It can be especially frustrating when you feel like you’ve told your dog over and over not to do certain things. I’m here to tell you that dogs are doing their best. It’s not easy for them to live inside a box that doesn’t allow many normal, common dog behaviors. Inside this box we expect them to be on their best behavior at all times. Quickly our expectations grow into them doing all the “right” stuff without even being asked and also without receiving any feedback. Our dogs are doing their best. Dogs bark, dig, chew, chase, bite, scavenge and so on. Is it fair for us to ask them not to do anything that comes naturally to them? No, it’s not. It’s understandable that we don’t want certain behaviors to happen at certain times. This is where training more appropriate behaviors comes into play and managing to help prevent certain behaviors. You know what else is awesome? We can give our dogs appropriate outlets to do the things that come naturally to them. We can have them scavenge for their meals in the yard. We can give them certain areas where they’re allowed to dig. We can get certain toys that allow them to chase, grab and shake. Our dogs are trying their best, and we should too.
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