What we understand of dogs is always evolving

I recently found out that not too long ago 80’s to 90’s it was common practice to believe dogs didn’t feel pain or feel intense amounts of pain, including after surgery, broken bones etc

It actually blew my mind to learn that.

Fast forward to now, it’s standard procedure to administer pain relief before the animal has woken and to send the animal home with roughly three days worth of pain relief just for desexing.

How crazy is that??

And it got me thinking, if we were once in a place where our experts of a dogs body had no real understanding of how much pain they were in,

Can’t our experts in mental wellbeing and behavioural training miss the mark a little as well?

My clients get to get to know their dog on a whole new level, understanding their emotional cues better, to better recognise when their dog is genuinely having a hard time, when they are frustrated, throwing in the towel or simply trying to “win” in the game of who can be more stubborn/patient than the other.

And how that plays a huge part in how the dog interacts and reacts to the world around him.

“traditional” dog training disregards a dogs emotions quite a lot “dogs a dog don’t humanize them”

And yeah I agree don’t make them something that they aren’t but that’s not what the people I work with are aiming for, they are aiming for their dog to have the opportunity to be themselves whilst understanding the boundaries to keep them safe and happy.

And hell even newer aged veterinarian behaviourist work is missing the mark too by heavily working on shifting the brain chemically, by relying quite heavily on meds to “fix” issues, almost completely ignoring the fact that the brain is an ever evolving organ, neurons change, strengthen and weaken all the time, medication can have it’s place but it’s not THE answer.

Nothing is THE answer, like the body the brain is a complex thing, if you want to teach your dog obedience or tricks hell go for gold doing that work on your own,

But behaviour, emotions, reworking the brain,
communication, developing and strengthening bonds?

How good are you at solving rubix cubes?

The more you have going on the more behaviourally with your dog the more different pieces are at play
and this is why after all most 6 months my advanced clients are still seeing shifts and changes in their dog realising that whilst things are getting waaaay easier, and they are doing the things they have always wanted with their dog, the process of having a good relationship with your dog is an ever evolving thing, just like our relationships with people you get back what you put in.

and sometimes we don’t know all the right things to put in to get that return, and that’s ok, it’s more than ok to need help with this stuff, it’s hard and it’s complicated and our professionals in the field of working with animals, medically, behaviourally etc are STILL learning themselves, it’s still progressing and evolving.

When you hire help in that way you’re hiring a head start to get up to scratch with what we understand right now about dogs, but I can bet you in another 10-20 years time it will be different AGAIN.

So do you feel confident that what you know about training, working with and moving through the issues you face with your dog is up to date?

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