Can you imagine being in a country where both the language and customs are foreign? People trying to communicate with you and you have not even the foggiest idea what they are trying to say? If you think about it in these terms, this is how dogs operate on a daily basis. Dogs are our best friends, and our family, but we often forget one crucial point, they do not understand English.
Dogs live in our world, a very human micromanaged world. Years ago we treated 0ur dogs very differently than we do now. We would let them roam, and explore while we went to work. They were able to use their primal instincts, and do what they were born to do. At the end of the day we would return home to our very tired dogs that were ready for dinner and bed. In these days we heard very little of behavioral issues in dogs, no separation anxiety or aggression. Those days have come to pass. Busy roads, apartment buildings, and a myriad of concerns have forced us to keep our dogs at home, and contained. Dogs are meant to roam, use their noses, and explore. It is when we remove these privileges and place our dogs entirely into our world that these issues arise. When our dogs misbehave, we tell them what they did wrong, much as we would do to our children. It is important to understand that although it makes you feel better to talk to your dog, they do not know what you are saying!
Although dogs may not speak English they can read our body language, and feel our emotions. A positive response from you returns a positive reaction. The next time that you become frustrated with your dog for going through the garbage, or chewing your socks, try to remember that he or she is just trying to fit into your world. Boredom will lead dogs, or anyone for that matter, to mischief. Instead of yelling at the dog for chewing, give him something acceptable to chew on. Remember that dogs are companions and they crave attention and stimulation as much as humans do. Instead of always expecting your dog to anticipate what you want, try to get on their level, and try to understand what they may need from you to better fit into our foreign world.