Who are our dogs?


I’m writing this post thinking of all dog lovers specifically. I am simply crazy for dogs as pets but due to my daily schedule, I know I will not be able to find enough time for my pet and thus I didn’t keep any. However, I spend ample time with street dogs in my locality. Since I’m from India, mongrels are found in abundance on the streets and I have about 8 of them who love me very much, in my neighbourhood… And there are a few things I learnt over a long period of time that I have been spending with them. These also apply to most dogs of other breeds as well.

What most people fail to remember is that although dog is family, it is not a human. The laws and rules that work with human children are not the ways of our four-legged family member.

Whatever I state here may not be the perfect remedies since I’m no expert but can be looked upon as a rough measure of dealing with these cute, lovable animals.

An Indian Mongrel (P.C. - http://indianpariahdog.blogspot.in/2014/03/kiba-portraits-by-neha.html)
An Indian Mongrel
(P.C. – http://indianpariahdog.blogspot.in/2014/03/kiba-portraits-by-neha.html)

Here are a few tips that one can employ while training or dealing with dogs:

  • When you don’t want your dog to repeat something it has done wrong, do not hit it or shout or show violence. It is not interpreted as a scolding but looked upon as a reaction to threat. A better solution is to say no, keep repeating the word time an again and look sad. Try to bring on a very sad face till your dog understands that it has hurt you. I have seen they do not repeat their actions after two or three such interactions.
  • When your dog is still a puppy, make sure you lift up your dog completely from the ground, in a loving but firm embrace for at least 5 times in the whole day and repeat till they are about one and a half to two years old. In your dog’s mind, only it’s mother is strong enough to lift it up. Thus, it will naturally believe you’re just as strong and you’ll forever be so.
  • If you dog likes to chew on your child’s teddy bear or has the habit of biting on things, do not play tug-of-war by pulling at the thing while it is holding onto it with its mouth. Sit in front and paralyse it by holding it and wait till the dog is bored and lets go. If you pull, the dog will think you’re actually playing and it’ll show aggression as is natural to a carnivorous animal.
  • Another method that might help is to divert its attention with some food or other healthy excitement like laughing loudly from a different room or turning on the television.
  • Never fake actions like calling a dog for a biscuit or some food and then actually laughing and hugging it because it came running to you. You’re actually cheating on its trust. Just think of it this way that you wouldn’t want anyone play such a trick with you because you’ll feel fooled and that comes from trust. A similar psychology dominates this scenario.
  • You must not let your dog walk you but keep it clear to your pet that you’re walking it. The measure to do this is by holding your dog with a short leash so that you have the control of its steps and it should walk with you, stop with you and look up at you for affirmation or negation. It should be done consistently from a young age until where you hold the leash does not matter.
  • Like us, dogs also look into our eyes for affection. Whenever you notice your dog looking up at you in general times, do look into their eyes and smile, They understand that you love them.
  • Dogs are quite aware of their size. It often happens that a large dog tries a few pranks on a stranger or a guest at their gate like barking loudly and posing like they’d jump and attack. In such cases, do maintain a distance but do not show them your fear. Although they can smell your pheromones and detect any change of your heart-rate but if you physically show no reaction, then they get bored easily. And while this happens, you’ll see that the dog pauses for a couple of seconds to observe you, just look at it and smile and when it starts barking, look elsewhere and least bothered. Eventually, it’ll stop.
  • If your dog becomes very aggressive on certain stimuli like applying medicines, please do not hover over the dog and try to over-power it with affection. Please understand that the dog is behaving so because it is feeling threatened and with you trying to over-power it, it is bound to feel more agitated and wild. One solution is to sit with your dog while it is in good mood… hug it and keep the medicines nearby so that it can associate the smells with cordial behaviour. Cover its eyes and keep stroking it while keeping the medicines around. Then gradually apply it with someone’s help who will continue with hugging the dog or will apply the medicines while you do the needful. After you’re done, remember to pat your dog and thank it for being well behaved.
  • If you’re facing an issue with feeding tablets to your dog, crush the tablet and mix it wth honey. The with your fingers, put it all around their mouth and nose. They’re bound to lick it up. Please be careful not to put any in the nostrils.

It is very important that you appreciate your pet. They’re wagging tails are always in love and appreciation of you…

I had read somewhere in a quote that a dog has enough teeth and bite-force to tear us apart, but no matter how inhuman we humans become towards them, they just choose not to… We must try to keep the goodwill and respect their judgement.

I hope my points will prove helpful to you. They have quite worked for me. 🙂

Copyright (c) 2014 Amrita Kar Roy. All Rights Reserved.

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