When love is not enough

I know, it sounds like a song title ‘when love is not enough.’ However, I want to highlight some flawed thinking. I was prompted to write this after I saw a Facebook post about a frightened dog that needed rehoming.

The pictures showed a very scared dog. It was hiding from everything, withdrawing for long periods to a cage. Of course, many people had commented and voiced their sympathies for this poor dog. All of which was meant well. Many people said that the dog needed lots of love. This would help the dog and it would get over its fears. Unfortunately, dogs like these will not recover with love alone.

There is no doubt that we should, of course, love and care for our canine companions. However, when a dog is so obviously traumatised as this dog clearly was – love is not enough.  These dogs have experienced serious psychological and, inevitably, physical trauma. Often it is hard to get to the root of what may have happened to dogs such as these, making it difficult to deal with their, often extreme, behavioural issues.

With the best will in the world and with the right intentions, most owners will not have the knowledge or skills to help dogs such as these. These dogs really need the help of a qualified canine behaviourist. These are not dogs that will be helped by the average dog trainer. Deep-seated behavioural issues that these dogs exhibit need to be carefully evaluated, identified and managed.

These dogs can be helped. It takes time, understanding and a lot of patience. It’s a little like peeling an onion – layers peel back as time goes by, the dog, as it recovers will start to show you their true characters. It is well worth the time and dedication needed to help these unfortunate dogs. Just, please, seek professional advice as soon as possible.