Many of the questions I am asked about people’s animals has to do with their furry friend’s behavior…humans want to better understand why their companions do the things they do. Animals show us how they feel by how they behave. Our job as their people is to interpret their behavior from their perspective, not our own.
For example, I spoke with a woman today who was describing one of her three dog’s behavior of charging the front door and challenging anyone who he thought might enter the house. She thought he was just being a brat and making trouble for the other two dogs. My interpretation was that he was simply guarding the house. He decided on his own that guarding was his job and he felt he was doing a pretty good job of it!
When understanding his behavior from a canine perspective it’s easy to see why he took it upon himself to be the Guardian of the household. In his mind, the other two dogs didn’t have the ability to protect the household, so he did what came naturally….he became the leader. Once I explained this to her, she began to understand not only this behavior, but she began to feel empathy and understanding towards him. She realized that by looking at things from his point of view, not her own…..he was doing the absolute best he could. The end result was a deeper sense of wonder and appreciation.