Understanding your canine as an individual

The purpose of this excerpt is to help get a better understanding of your canine as an individual. 3 basic parameters (personality, behavior & breed). It is important to focus on these 3 parameters as they directly relate to your individual canine. This will help to gain a fuller & more objective understanding of the canines needs.

SO… If we think about all the relationships in our lives & how we navigate them do we treat each of those individually? Do we treat our boss the same way we treat & interact with out spouse? Do we treat our relationship with our children the same as we do our parents? Odds are we have different approaches to each person individually based on the overall relationship, as well as the constant changes in the relationships atmosphere. This also applies to our canines-

In each of the above mentioned relationships we carry a certain personality & behavior as we deal with other human beings. We have to constantly change our approach & delivery to meet the needs of each to maintain continuity. When there is conflict is these relationships we also have a set of principles used for dispute resolution. It’s most times difficult to maintain a constant harmony within the relationships we share with our own species. This gets tricky when we now take on the relationship with a canine-

The main difference between us & our canines is our ability to practice abstract thought. We can read a book about canine behavior, watch videos and retain knowledge of the canine mind. When it comes to our canines … we are the book, we are the video. Imagine being dropped into a culture where you did not know the language, the customs & norms. Now imagine being left to make your own decisions based on what you thought was acceptable based on previous interactions. It would be unnerving, chaotic & at best stressful. Now imagine that scenario with a seasoned guide to guide your path- This is our role with our canines, we are their guides in a human world.

Please understand I am not writing about how to “Humanize: your canine. I am using human analogy to better describe how to respect your canines needs. If you take the time to understand how your canine navigates from a cognitive sense, a predatory sense, a social sense… You then start to understand the value system your canine possesses. You may pick a dog based on breed that is outlined by a general summary of characteristic based on the overall breed. You still must respect each canine as an individual, core canine behavior first, breed specific behavior a close second. Then you start shaping the behavior that is best suited to reduce conflict & create bond between you & your canine. Get to know Pack structure basics “Alpha. Beta & Omega”…the roles of each in a hierarchy. This is a must especially in a multi canine home, not only are you keeping the peace between the humans & canines, but also the canines… It is so important to know how canines communicate with each other. There is no better way to do that than treating each as an individual & understanding the core behavior of each canine. Playing favorites in a pack setting is a no, no… if you want to show favoritism do it on an individual interaction. Think of your pack like a football team, when 1 player leaps off sides… the entire team moves back, not just the individual player.

I hope this brief excert into the realm of individuality has been insightful-

W J. Bellottie
Detroit Bully Corps
President & Co-founder