No matter how much you love your dog, it’s still a dog


August 30, 2007 12:17 AM

Dogs having a facial
Picture from KidsCorner.org

Before I make my point, let me share some links first:

Yoghund, yoghurt for dogs

Speaking as a dog owner who loves his pet dog very much, the whole idea of pampering dogs with items considered luxurious to humans is ridiculous. I give Snoop a warm place to sleep at night, I buy good quality pet food, and I show him a lot of attention and I play with him. As much as he is an important part of my family, he is but a dog.

Dogs have simple needs and their taste buds are not as sophisticated as ours, even if their noses are way better at smelling than ours. How else do you explain them biting and gnawing on mysterious looking stuff from the ground or garbage, or licking and smelling their own and other dogs’ vomit and faeces? Because they are dogs!

Dogs should also not be expected to behave like a human, not even a human baby. Dogs are naturally territorial and will always test their seniority with a newcomer in the family whether it be humans or another dog. If you’ve been around dogs, you know that this can manifest in pushing and pawing, and to snapping of teeth and growling. This is often harmless because dogs have tough skin and it usually sorts itself out once the dogs know which of them is the boss.

The other dog would be submissive and know its place. A baby or a small child wouldn’t – they’d push and poke at a dog, thinking it’s fun. It is not. And that is why a photo like this one from a CuteOverload post horrifies me. It isn’t cute; it is dangerous as rightly pointed out in the comments.

A big dog with a baby is dangerous

Even if the dog is tame and docile around humans, and isn’t aggressive normally it would get annoyed and snap at the baby to warn it. But a snap that probably wouldn’t hurt another dog can easily break the skin of the baby, or crush its bones. Small children and babies should never be left alone with dogs, no matter the size and breed.

Which is why every time I see a story like this one below, the first thing that pops into my head is: these people shouldn’t own dogs because a child is now either seriously injured or killed, and the dog has to be put down. Opinions which I had voiced previously.

Baby killed by pet husky – National – smh.com.au
Baby death husky destroyed – National – smh.com.au

Don’t let the love for your dog fool you into thinking that it’s behaviour and motivations are just like the rest of us. No matter how much a dog is loved, it remains an animal and should be treated as such.

8 thoughts on “No matter how much you love your dog, it’s still a dog

  1. mf

    Agree.
    On the other hand, I hv seen frens who abandoned their dogs that they used to love so so so much after they hv kids. That’s not the way to do it either. =_=

    Reply
  2. mooiness Post author

    I doubt that your friends loved their dogs that much if they’d just abandoned them like that and not opting to advertise for them to be adopted etc.

    When I say treat an animal as an animal, I mean don’t expect them to behave like humans do, NOT to use and abuse them.

    People who don’t understand that having a pet is a commitment for the life of that animal should not own pets in the first place.

    Reply
  3. blur ting

    Having grown up with dogs all my live, I cannot agree more to what you’ve said. People forget that dogs have their own characteristics and they simply mould into the ‘pet’ they want them to be and then blame them or punish when things don’t go their way. To me, that becomes abuse instead of love.

    Good post.

    Reply
  4. Katie

    I agree. It’s easy to forget that animals – especially dogs – are still animals, with natural urges and instincts. You might have the most well behaved animal ever, and then a young child does something that provokes it, and it snaps. Sadly it’s happened in the past.

    I also agree that that above photo is disturbing. I cannot believe that someone who leave their child that age, with a dog that big, to take a photo. A split second is all it takes for a tragedy to occur. 🙁

    Reply
  5. mooiness Post author

    blur ting: yeah, a lot of behavioural problems are due to the owner not understanding dog behaviour.

    Preya: that’s what irks me too – the wastefulness, and senselessness of the deaths and injuries, and having to put down the dog.

    Katie: that’s right, a split second and an eternity to regret it.

    Reply

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