Dog behavior and language can, like learning another language, be broken down in its simplest of components. It can be elementary, my dear Watson, if you have the eye. The title quote of this article I’ve taken from that most fantastic and fictional of all detectives, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.
Holmes was a masterful observer. In The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier we see Sherlock easily identifying where Mr. Dodd has come from, what type of employment he has, what area he is from, and the beginnings of why Mr. Dodd came desperately looking for the super slueth’s help.
MR DODD: “You see everything.”
SHERLOCK HOLMES: “I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see.”
In Sherlock’s next sentence calls his legendary skill the “science of observation.” Whether this incredible observation of Holmes’ is science or art matters little. What matters is that it is definitely valuable in every form of problem solving.
Problem solving is precisely what we do every day at our dog language center and whenever we are amongst dog loving families in their homes. If you desire to be a better dog owner – and you should desire it because most people, frankly, are very poor owners when it comes to proper animal husbandry – if you desire improvement in dog behavior you must learn to observe then act! (This poor animal husbandry is true especially between people and dogs because there are so many foolhardy behavioral myths dog owners cling to. Can you imagine if I ranked and rated how great dog owners were or how terrible they were like people do with businesses on Google or Yelp or wherever else? God forbid…because I’d be forced, if I was being honest, to hand out a host of 1 stars left and right due to an extreme disregard for nature’s ways, the value of calmness, and due to the piss poor relationships we consistently see between pet owners and their dogs! We often observe that the owner adores their dog and the dog accepts that adoration readily and controls everything and acts as if they could care less about the bond with their owner or… on the opposite end the dog may be insanely unsocial towards everyone else in the world due to the extreme obsession allowed in the relational bond by the owner.
If you want to judge a dog on behavior look at how it touches and interacts with its owner and examine how it accepts touch from a guest or a little child! Touch is the first of the Four Pillars of Dog Language and the most critical for human-dog interaction.
If you were to work just one day in our kennel you’d see how insane dogs can act because people (their own owners) don’t know much or care much about animals and nature’s way. Perhaps I should clarify and say that they care about all the wrong things when it comes to their dog and hardly ever care or even notice all the things that lead to problematic behavior! That’s stating it more succinctly.
Friends, we MUST train ourselves to notice what we see!
Please pay attention to the details. You have to if you desire any sort of change within your dog or pup behaviorally speaking.
I have loved and been fascinated by all animals and nature since my earliest memories. Let’s not fail our dogs by believing status quo dog myths concerning their behavior or language. Let’s all look deeper…let’s ask more questions…let’s notice what we see!
Garrett Stevens is author of the hot-listed book, Dog Myths: What you Believe about dogs can come back to Bite You! and the super practical book to reverse or prevent anxiety in puppies or dogs, So Long Separation Anxiety. Sample them today on/at Amazon, Apple iBooks, at Barnes and Noble, and at several other places and books reading platforms.