We talk a lot about how much dog’s differ than us as human’s. In most ways they are as different as night and day, but there is one huge similarity. They are individual’s! So our expectation’s need to be set for their individual needs. They are not like the dog next door, or the 100s of dog’s in your local animal shelter. Dog’s are unique, have their own likes/ dislikes and have their own individuality.
Every dog has their own issues just like us. We often go into getting a puppy or rescuing a dog with a certain amount of expectations. The assumption that they will follow you around, lay at your feet, snuggle up with you, not to chew the furniture, not to pee on the rug and/ or love everyone and everything. These are all assumptions of what our dog should be. When they aren’t, frustration often enters the picture. Because of this we have to remember that dog’s do not know what your expectations are if they have not been taught, and truly understand them.
Expectations and Pizza
There are people that hate pizza. No matter how you try to change up the ingredient’s, or put in a different package, they may just never like pizza. This doesn’t make them wrong, bad or evil if they don’t like it, it’s just who they are. After they have tried pizza 200 times and didn’t like it, it would be fair to say that they don’t like pizza. It would be unrealistic to have the expectations for them to want this as their meal once a week and like it.
It’s easy to get wrapped into what we want. Sometimes we need to step back and look at what is realistic. Having a family never eat pizza again because one family member doesn’t like it, is a far stretch. However, teaching that member of the family that there are more options or ways to handle pizza night is more realistic. Having a dog that doesn’t like other dog’s and expecting them to become a dog park dog is an unrealistic expectation that we are putting on them.What we can do is to teach the dog how to handle situations with other dog’s and show them other options.
When we do this then we are able to start to accept the dog for who they are, not what they aren’t. So this is when you will be able to help your dog to become the best that they can be! You may be surprised to find out that they surpass your expectation’s !