Can you recognise stress in your dog?
As a behaviour consultant, I often get asked my opinion on some of the ‘cute’ videos that go viral on the internet.
I was sent another recently and decided to make a video of it, so instead of a written blog post this time, I thought I’d share the video with you and it can be found at the bottom of this blog post. A couple of things to address first:
“If the dog is so unhappy, why doesn’t he just move away?”
It’s a good question, why wouldn’t the dog just move away?
Many times, the dog has been told to stay, the person filming wants to get a cute video so tells the dog to stay where he is, or even worse, tells him off for moving.
Sometimes, the dog has learned from previous experiences that he gets punished for moving away, so has learned to remain where he is.
Remember that what is punishing for the dog isn’t necessarily something the owner thinks it’s punishing, so the owner may not even realise that they have ‘punished’ the moving away.
Sometimes, the owner has simply stopped the dog from being able to move away or returned the dog to the spot so the dog learns not to bother trying to leave.
The dog may never snap
It’s true, he may never snap, but meanwhile, the child is learning that this kind of interaction is okay and kids don’t necessarily understand that not all dogs are as tolerant. If that child attempts a similar kind of interaction with a less tolerant dog, the dog may well snap and then an innocent dog gets into trouble.
It’s actually just not fair!
Even if the child wasn’t at any risk, is it really fair to keep putting this kind of stress on a dog?
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