Understanding dogs – misconceptions

I was prompted to write this post after making a few comments on a piece in a local paper – https://www.edp24.co.uk/features/dogs-should-be-kept-on-leads-letter-1-6284729#comment-4626941131

I was disappointed to note some of the responses and the apparent, lack of understanding relating to dogs and their owners.

The thrust of the reader’s letter was to demand that all dogs should be kept on leads in public places, all the time. The writer of the letter had experienced a few dogs who had approached her small dog, always on the lead, and ‘frightened’ it.  The experience for the dog was such that the owners now exercised their dog in the garden. This, of course, denies their dog the life of a dog – no socialisation in the big bad world.

This type of response is common, unfortunately. Keeping a dog away from ‘anything’ that you think might disturb it is detrimental to the wellbeing of your dog and the ability for it to experience life as a dog.  It is no good just evading anything that is a little challenging. There is help available to the owners and dogs. An effort is required to help and change the behaviour of dogs in human charge.

The response to some of my legitimate comments from a behavioural point of view demonstrated a lack of understanding about dogs in general. There were demands to ban all dogs from nature reserves because ‘they are not for dogs.’

Views expressed ranged from all Bull Terriers are dangerous, Huskies should be banned, anyone with a physical impairment should not have a dog, etc. None of which are based on any knowledge or understanding of dogs at all.

I could go on for a long period here. That won’t be helpful. I would say that, yes, dog owners should be responsible and consider others. However, the intolerance of people towards dog owners is indicative of the common trend for people to be outraged at anything.

Many breeds are maligned by people, simply, not having the knowledge before they expound their views.

Most dogs can live happy lives alongside the public if the owners take the time to find the right dog for their lifestyle. Once they have done this, they need to take time to learn about their dog, train it and instil in it the way to behave with another species – humans. Those, that seem to be outraged all of the time and, prone to overreacting need to develop some humility and tolerance for others.