Did you know that if you follow the dog listening method you can’t cuddle your dog? What’s the point of having a dog then? And isn’t that cruel to the dog? Won’t it feel unloved and neglected?
Welcome to the third video in my Dog Listening myth busting series! This week we’ll talk about that horrible thing dog listeners tell dog owners about not cuddling their dog, or that you can’t cuddle it if it comes and craves your attention.
Can this really be true?
The answer is both a yes and a no.
Now I can clearly hear some of you say, ‘oh come on, don’t try to be diplomatic, tell it like it really is!’.
So, I will tell it like it is.
Let’s start with stating that you can of course cuddle your dog, but not at any time or in any way.
Surprise, surprise, but dogs are not human and just walking straight up to your dog to cuddle it will not tell it what you think it does. What is happening in the eyes of the dog is that you communicate that you are beneath it in the pack structure, and that the dog is responsible for you. You’re ‘paying homage’ to the dog.
Not really what you meant to say, right?
If you feel an urgent need to cuddle, call your dog to you. If it comes straight away, you can cuddle away! If it hesitates on the way to you, or delays coming, the dog has set the rules and you have to ignore it. Otherwise you’re back to communicating that you’re giving the dog the role of the leader and that it is responsible for you.
So what if he dog comes to you without you asking and craves your attention? Isn’t it just asking for some loooove?
One would think that was the case, but that would be viewing the dog as human. The craving is a question from the dog, ‘who’s the leader in our pack? Is it you or is it me?’.
If you ignore the dog in this moment, you simply tell it ‘I’m the leader and I take responsibility for our pack, you can relax and enjoy life’.
If you feel cruel ignoring the dog when it comes to you like that, which there is absolutely no need to, the dog does not see it like that at all, you can always call your dog to you a little later and give it a good cuddle.
So, here are the rules:
If you want to cuddle your dog, make sure it starts with you calling the dog to you.
If the dog comes to you and craves your attention, it’s asking a question about who’s responsible for the pack. Giving in and giving it a cuddle on demand will give the answer to the dog that it’s in charge. Ignoring it for the moment will provide the answer that you the human are in charge.
Understanding how the dog interprets what you do or don’t do is key. If you want to give your dog the best life possible, you have to acknowledge that dogs are canines, not humans. They deserve to be understood and communicated with according to their terms. We as humans can learn their language, but they can never learn ours.
So, did we bust myth #2? I think we did, you can absolutely cuddle your dog, just make sure that you’re aware of the when and the how!