January 12, 2021  |  National Train Your Dog Month

What Dogs Want

Dogs make our lives so much better. All they want in return is our care. We walk and feed them. We take them to the vet and to training classes so that they learn and grow. What we don’t always realize is that learning and growing is a two-way street.

It’s through our dogs that we meet our neighbors as we walk down the street and make new friends in training class or at the vet. They open up a world to us as we care for them.

So why do some of us feel the need to “be in charge?” Webster’s Dictionary defines dominance as commanding, controlling, and prevailing over others. Is that what we want with our dogs? Or are we seeking a relationship—a kinship built on trust and understanding?

Keep in mind, we already control much of our dogs’ lives: their food, access to outside, where they sleep. They rely on us for everything. It’s up to us and it’s our responsibility to learn how our dogs feel. Every dog, like every person, is unique. How does your pup experience strangers, other dogs, and the world around them? What makes them feel “safe?” When your dog feels safe, you’ve built the foundation for an amazing adventure together.

Training can help. Check out the Maryland SPCA’s online classes. Adventure awaits for those who care!

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