Dogs look like they can smile and their tail wagging seems to say something too. For those of us dog owners who clearly love our pets, we focus a lot on trying to understand, to decipher, what Fido is "saying".
We want the best for these members of our pack. I know that at the end of the day my knowledge of Cleo, my adult rescue dog, is limited to what I can uncover on my own. And because I care, I want to know if she is happy.
Ever since I adopted her, feeling that I am doing a good job - that I'm making her life better than what it was - is important to me as a responsible canine guardian. Therefore, even debatable emotional indicators such as a smile, I will take this superfluous information and hold it close.
This guest post is from Deborah Flick, of Boulder Dog, and helps us put into context these notions of whether our dogs are really happy and she discusses the question, what is a normal dog?
You will never have a ‘normal’ dog no matter how much counter-conditioning and desensitization you do. No matter how many hours of training you invest. At least that’s how I condensed Dr. Nicholas Dodman’s lecture on fearfulness and fear aggression.
“You can rehabilitate, but there is no cure. And, there is a tendency to relapse.”
Thanks. I needed that.