Graphic By: Melissa Kolmar; Written By: Gillian Daniels
When you bring a dog into your life, it is your responsibility to be their advocate. What this means is that you protect your dog from injury, from other dogs or people, and from themselves. How do you protect your dog from themselves? By teaching them the skills to be successful in your home and in public spaces. By asking the “my dog is friendly!” person to please give your reactive dog space. By not allowing children to use your dog as a jungle gym. By managing his environment so that he doesn’t have the opportunity to practice dangerous or unwanted behavior. By learning how to read your dog’s body language and listening to him when he tells you he has had enough.
Adopting a dog is a bigger deal then most make of it. You are taking on the responsibility of another sentient being, will emotions and needs that can be different from ours. We expect our dogs to be so very human in so many ways. The only way to truly pay them back for their wonderful adaptation to our human lives is to become partly dog yourself. Learning how they communicate, and setting them up for success in life.
This is your responsibility to your dog, and when you fulfill it, you will be amazed at how your relationship blossoms.