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Wednesday Wisdom- Realistic expectations

To be sure, dogs are amazing animals and can serve mankind is a large variety of ways. From therapy dog, to detecting explosives, search and rescue, seizure alert, and so on. They give love unconditionally even when we don't deserve it. However, we as humans often fail our dogs when we expect them to be perfect all the time. Dogs need training. This requires consistency and patience. But dogs- similar to people- have feelings. They have good days and bad but we expect the best at all times. It is amazing to me that more people are not bitten by dogs given the sheer numbers of households with dogs and people/dog interactions. It is not funny to tease a dog trying to take away it's toy/treat. It is not fun to the dog to play rough, inciting defensive behavior (growling, snapping, etc.). It is not fun for the dog to be prodded or poked while crated or resting. It is not fun for the dog to be used as a jungle gym or pony. Many dogs will tolerate this bad treatment at the hands of their humans because they are such loving creatures. But then one day when the dog is not up to it, they snap or bite the person. Before you know it, the dog gets smacked and worse, is given up to the shelter or euthanized. Most dog bite happen to children under age 10 by the family dog. And generally they were not respectful of the dog prior to the bite. Even adults engage in behaviors that will test a dog beyond its limits and we expect the dog to be good regardless.

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