Let your Dog be a Dog

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=dog&iid=309151″ src=”0305/0000305877.jpg?adImageId=12452086&imageId=309151″ width=”380″ height=”253″ /]

I’m going to interview a dog expert this week and I’m anticipating it could be a lot of fun. I haven’t had a dog since I was a kid so some of my questions might seem a tad naive. That’s okay. You can often get a good story if you’re not a big know-it-all going in. My sister is definitely a dog person and several of my friends are over the moon for mutts. Me? Well, I can kind of take ’em or leave ’em.

The dog trainer I’ll be talking to has written a new book which basically says people put too much pressure on their pets by expecting them to be human. We simply don’t treat a lot of dogs like dogs. It’s hard to argue with that when you take a quick look around. There is doggie daycare and there are spas. There are doggie bakeries. I’ve been in doggie fashion boutiques.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=dog+in+dress&iid=3053315″ src=”5/d/1/5/98.jpg?adImageId=12452210&imageId=3053315″ width=”234″ height=”393″ /]Speaking of doggie fashion, I once did a television piece on a lovely woman who liked to dress her small dog up in countless thematic costumes. She had made one for every holiday and every special event. There was an entire wardrobe of hand-crafted outfits in her home. Being a seamstress to her dog undoubtedly brought her a lot of pleasure but I couldn’t help wonder how the dog felt about all of it. Does the dog get together with other dogs and say, ‘You’ll never believe the get-up she had me in yesterday!‘?

The dog expert, who has authored a new book on training, says you shouldn’t let a dog sleep on your bed or eat at your table or sit on your lap while you drive the car. And we should stop constantly talking to dogs like they’re two year old children because, at some point, dogs just tune you out. In fact, he says, there are immense benefits to be gained by not talking to your dog at all. Let your body language, which emphasizes that you are the boss, do the talking for you.

I think there may be something to this because whenever I am in a devoted dog owner’s home and pay little or no attention to the pet it seems that the same dog can’t get enough of me. It’s as if the dog is much more focused on me if I don’t fawn all over it. Dogs dig me.

For the record, I have tried that approach with women..and it doesn’t work.

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2 Responses to “Let your Dog be a Dog”

  1. I think dogs should only be allowed to wear clothes if they can dress themselves. Its not natural.

  2. Great piece Dave! The dog trainer is right. My dogs have always known who the boss is, and they’ve never asked to be put in anything frilly or plastic.

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