We can’t take the credit for raising a well behaved, properly socialized, well mannered and obedient dog without recognizing that, on the opposite side of the coin, we are also responsible for the raising of a dog with behavioural problems.
We may not like to admit it, but, we do need to accept that; people create the so called ‘bad’ behaviours in their dogs, which then, in turn, lead to the dog and or breed being labeled as ‘bad’.
No amount of excuses and justifications can mask or allow one to escape this reality. Sure, specific breed characteristics and instincts are driving forces, these are well known, however, it’s what the Human does with these breed characteristics and instincts that, can either lead their dog to being a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ dog.
Like children, dogs aren’t born ‘bad’ or ‘good’, they just are what they are, a clean slate!
Dogs don’t sit around thinking; how can I be good or bad today, how can I annoy or please my Human, how can I cause problems… You get the picture… they just react to their ‘now’ environment and follow the reactions of their pack leader.
A Pack Leader to a dog is what a Parent is to a child!
If, their pack leader is calm, in control of their emotions and their environment then, the dog will be calm and relaxed about life. If, on the other hand, their pack leader is scattered, in a mess, fearful, worried, etc. etc. then, their dog will also be in the same state of mind.
The vast majority of unacceptable behavioural problems I witness are originating from dogs that are anxious, fearful, insecure and confused.
They generally have no consistency in their lives, no comfort zone or understood boundaries. They also, very, very often, have inadequate exercise, leading to pent up energy with no natural form of release.
I see this, as an old time observer, in modern day children as well. The brain in bored children will start creating uncontrolled or undirected avenues of release. It is no different in our dogs!
It is extremely important, prior to becoming a dog owner (or parent) that, one has developed a reasonable level of self discipline and a high level of self responsibility. I would also add self love to the list of essential traits required, to be a trustworthy and reliable pack leader.
Think about it! Ask yourself the question… Am I leading myself down the right road to happiness, fulfillment and success or, am I leading myself down the low road to dissatisfaction, stress, anxiety, sadness, etc? Because, where I’m going is where my dog is going too!
You can’t expect your dog to be calm, happy, attentive and joyful if you’re miserable, sad, depressed and fearful… can you? There are many variations on this theme, but you get the idea, you fill in the blanks for your own life’s circumstances.
The honest answer you get will let you know if you are ready and capable of being a trustworthy pack leader.
For your own sake and that of an innocent dog, don’t consider a pet dog as your saviour, as the answer to your problems. If you do, you will only be creating more problems than you started out with. A dog, more so than any other pet, will mirror its Human’s emotional behaviour, temperament and lifestyle.