By: Saro Boghozian
I hear so much about this from my clients and dog owners that it is worth sharing my thoughts about this topic with you.
A young dog is taken to work every day. Although this might be sounding like a great idea as an outlet for the dog, thinking that the dog is getting its socialization and the exercise but, the reality is that this kind of rationality is, unfortunately, enforcing to humanize a dog and help to develop an unbalanced dog. I see many dogs spending too much “human time” but not enough “dog time”.
Although dogs are known to be “man’s best friend”, it doesn’t mean they have to be “man’s only friend”. Lack of proper dog socialization is one of the reasons why a dog misbehaves, it’s anxious and it’s lacking proper behaviours.
Staying at home with you whether you work at home or not, spending too much time with the family or going to work with you may be something beneficial in some ways for the human. But for the dog that is not involved with those activities physically and mentally or even willingly is not beneficial. A dog being at a human workplace or staying at home all day will not have the ideal environment or outlet to practice proper behaviours and will get bored very quickly which will lead to being stressed, anxious and develop misbehaviour.
A (young) dog needs to play and socialize with other dogs on a regular basis. A dog needs to have human and dog time equally and even some dogs enjoy more dog time than human time. If the opportunity is given to a dog to socialize, play and learn manners from other dogs on regular basis, you will notice that most of so-called “bad behaviours” of the dog will fade away.
I’m not saying that allowing your dog to socialize will remove all the bad behaviours from your dog, but one part of the solution is to allow your dog to play and spend quality time with other dogs. Training your dog is another way of helping your dog to achieve balance.
In this day and age dogs are more and more settled in urban settings where cities are established based on human needs and not a dog’s needs. Although dogs can easily adapt to their new environment and lifestyle, regular dog playcare or dog daycare attendance is essential for dogs that live in cities. Whether you are staying home all the time or you work at home or not, your dog(s) need to have the opportunity to mingle and socialize with other dogs and their kinds.
This activity of mingling, playing and socializing with other dogs is a necessity for your dog and is one of the five common dog needs that have to be satisfied on a daily basis. A young dog needs to have socialization opportunity starting at an early age and up to 2 years of age. Socialization and play with other dogs is a much healthier activity than staying home alone or with you at home or at work.
When you force a social animal like a dog to be limited in its social activities, they have no choice but to become unbalanced and act unusually. Most of the bad behaviours are developed because dogs are not given the opportunities to play and socialize with dogs especially at a young age when their brain is hungry for knowledge and needs to learn proper behaviours rather than unusual behaviours.
Remember dogs don’t think like humans and they should not be treated like humans either. They are domesticated animals that have animal needs. Let’s not force human psychology to a dog.