Think about when you are feeling happy with your dog and think about why you are happy with them and in what way. 

 

How do you feel when your dog comes back when you call them or lies down when you ask them to? 

Very pleased that they understood what you wanted and did it for you.

 

How do you show them that you are pleased they did what you asked? 

‘Good Boy!’ and then maybe give them a treat. (Or if you use the clicker, a click followed by ‘Good Boy!’ and/or a treat.)

 

How do you feel when your dog comes back to you without you calling them? 

This demonstrates that your dog wants to be with you. How wonderful does that feel?

 

How do you show them that you are really happy that they want to be with you? 

Do you again say ‘Good Boy!’ and/or give them a treat? Usually we do.

 

How do you feel if your dog doesn’t react and looks to you if another dog rushes and barks at them? 

Very proud and very impressed with your dog.

 

How do you show them how you feel about them ignoring the other dog?

Do you again say ‘Good Boy!’ and/or give them a treat. Often this is what we do.

 

But these are three different situations and whilst in each case you are pleased, you feel happy in different ways. Your dog needs to know these differences.

 

What kind of relationship would you like with your dog? 

Some people enjoy a friendship with a lot of physical interaction. A friendship where the ultimate pleasure is cuddling up on the sofa together.

 

Other people prefer a less intense friendship where general interaction is less physical. A friendship where the ultimate pleasure may be walking in open countryside for an afternoon.

 

What kind of relationship would your dog like with you?

Some dogs enjoy a friendship with a lot of physical interaction. A friendship where the ultimate pleasure is cuddling up on the sofa together.

 

Other dogs may prefer a less intense friendship where general interaction is less physical. A friendship where the ultimate pleasure may be walking in open countryside for an afternoon.

 

 

Mutual Respect and Trust

 

Dogs and people are the same where friendships are concerned. If you are living with a dog whose emotional needs are different from your own, it can be really difficult. It can cause communication breakdown between you, as with any relationship. Your dog has no choice but to live with you. They cannot leave you because they need a different type of friendship. Therefore, as their guide and protector, it is your responsibility to consider their needs before your own.

The Dog Partnership 2011

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