When will it stop?
Social norms are described as behaviors we find as acceptable in social situations. Now, I know how different perspectives can be regarding some “norms”, however there are a few that I would like to compare to the dog world.
Touching people’s children as they are walking down the street with their family. Do you run up to a stranger’s child and touch them or stop them from walking to koo and tickle them?
*Why do we feel this is an acceptable behavior to display with dogs?
Do you completely ignore ill behavior of your children or friends when it comes to being rude to a stranger? For example, would you allow your kid to start screaming at another child while they are passing each other on the street?
*Why are we allowing our pets to do this to each other?
I know for a fact that each and every one of us has encountered a situation in public where we were subjected to being extremely uncomfortable due to someone’s behavior; be it verbal or physical action. Once the torture is over, we then made a mental note to NEVER let that happen to us again. As time goes on we make sure that anytime we are presented with the possibility of feeling that way again, we either avoid the situation all together or we become a bit aggressive and force the situation to stop; be it verbal or physical. Somewhere in this we find that reaction to be acceptable, its personal defense and to us that’s ok.
Now let’s compare this same scenario to our pets. How many times have you seen your dog shy away from a stranger’s hand, or hide behind your legs when a stranger forces their dog to meet yours? Then the next time they are presented with a stranger’s hand or an overly friendly strange dog they do what comes natural when they want an action to stop; show their teeth, growl or unfortunately snap. So what in this differs from our own types of “personal defense”? Not much, yet in our world a dog is not allowed to show any defensive behavior, otherwise they are deemed aggressive and unfit to live.
We are so unfair to our pets; we force them to do things that are so unnatural to their core. They abide most times and offer the desired behavior to make us happy. But at what point are we willing to take responsibility to being the cause for our pets’ actions?