A Dog; a man’s best friend, a faithful companion with dog eyes. Dog owners know their pets well. They know when it’s time to walk, to put some food on their plates, and so on. But what about the dog’s soul? How does your dog companion see you? Why is it obeying or not obeying?
We can observe dogs’ authentic life in TV series, movies, or books. People insert their “human” sentences in the mouth of their four-legged friends, and the viewers are glad that the dog’s perception is such a nice thing.
But is it so in the real life? Pavla Dugovičová, the chairperson of Sloboda Zvierat and the animal protectionist, outlined a dog’s soul poetically. “A dog’s soul is a beautiful large cloud, full of unconditional love and devotion. No criticism, no meanness, no betrayal. Ready to fight for its pack member until its last breath.”
What about the relationship between the owner and their dog? Pavla reminds us that the question of mutual understanding and the dog’s perception is about harmony. Putting into someone else’s shoes is important for the dog and the person. “If you do that, the dog will show you the exact direction you need to take together to be happy.”
Although Pavla’s story about such empathy is sad, ultimately, understanding the specific “message” of her dog in her eyes made the whole moment easier. “I was walking my dog on her last trip to the vet. The dog looked me in the eye, and I understood that she was giving me all her love and strength, that she knew exactly how I felt and wanted to help me very much to manage her leaving.”
As Pavla talks about the harmony of souls in the dog and the owner, Richard Ulianko, a dog psychologist, points out observing the dog. “Just observe the dog, socialize, and see what it is like. What’s in it? It will show you its character if you allow it to express itself. Ideally, when it is relaxed, off the leash.”
Richard emphasizes that he is not actually a dog psychologist, but his dog is. That’s why he does this job. He recognizes that a large part of a dog’s “personality” depends on the breed. Look for the biggest differences in behavior. In principle, he says, you should not train your dog but educate it. “I have four main principles. The first is socialization with people; the second is socialization with dogs. The third and fourth are the commands Come! and Leave it or No! When you do these things together, it will work perfectly.”
There is also the other side of the coin. If we want to raise a dog, we must be mentally healthy. Don’t rush. Show your dog patience and be consistent.
“Let’s not humanize the dog. It will follow us. It behaves based on its instinct or how we socialize it. So when you see a dog behave in a way, it reflects the owner. Beyond certain genetic assumptions.”
Peter Juhás, a lecturer in dog training, sees it similarly to Uhlianko. “There is a big difference between education and training. Any work with a dog is indeed important for its development and mental health. It feels like it’s important to you, and it helps you.”
Every dog is different. There is no such thing as a universal technique for education. What applies to one does not apply to the other.
“The benefit of specific courses is that they start by explaining how to set specific rules properly and how to understand your dog to become a team.”
As he confirms, but certainly every dog owner would guarantee too, the dog is a very wise creature. It needs to be close to the people and dogs, just as a human being. That may be why they say a dog is a man’s best friend.
Text: Eva Vašková, photo: pexels.com