They do not require a lot in their lives in order to feel psychologically and physically fulfilled. It is when we attempt to humanise dogs, imparting our emotions and how we react to situations, onto them that they become confused and potentially react in an undesired way. Dogs do not have the same psychological make up as humans do, therefore our actions can confuse them. Dogs don’t understand human emotions.
For example if a person is angry about something that is not to do with the dog, the dog may try and come and snuggle up to or stay really close to the person. This is perceived by the person as the dog being understanding and supportive. In reality the dog is being submissive as it believes that the emotions are directed at them. They are unable to determine the difference between the emotions directed at them and those that are not.
Another example we can use is digging in the garden. A dog may have dug a hole in the garden just after its pack leader left for the day. They return home to discover the hole, get angry and start yelling. The dog comes rushing around the corner scared out of its mind not because the hole has been discovered (that job was completed way earlier in the day), however it does think it’s in trouble, but just not why. The dog cannot connect the digging of the hole with the anger of the person.
Dogs do not need much to keep their lives full and balanced. Unfortunately we can make it difficult for them by humanising them and perceiving what fulfils our needs will fullfil theirs. In many dogs this encourages unwanted behaviour in order to meet their needs.
Have a pawsome day,
Stephanie, Poppy and Rosie