What defines a good dog? Similarly what defines a bad dog? Is it all about perception from the owner? From others? I’ve been binge watching episodes and clips from It’s Me or the Dog and several of those dogs are “bad” dogs. But are they really bad dogs or products of their environment. Usually that’s the case. They’ve been (unknown to the owners/pet parents) conditioned to act a certain way.
Dog training is more about the training the human than training the dog. How to be a “pack leader” as some might say. Or, in my eyes, how to be a pet parent. Some people say that dogs are dogs and they are not children. I say that dogs (or cats, or other animals) and children are more similar than many think
That reminds me of a time I was talking to my friend who was a mom to a toddler. She would say something about raising her daughter and I would tell her that I experienced the same thing with Haley (she was a year and a half at that time). We talked about having to take things out of mouths, potty training, talking back (yes, Haley did and still does like to have the last word, Eevee is showing those signs as well), and in general just being a mommy. We discovered that being human parents and pet parents aren’t that dissimilar.
I don’t know if I would call any dog “bad” per se. Many people would probably disagree. I believe that dogs are a product of their environment and their genetics. I also believe that dogs become what their humans (knowingly or unknowingly) want them to become: a friend, a protector, something to alienate other people, a device to get dates, a fighter, a coward…well you get the drill. Perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps there truly are bad dogs that no matter how well they’re treated they will always be bad dogs.
What makes a good dog? What are their traits? Does it depend on person to person? What do you think makes up a good dog?
For me a good dog is: a dog that listens but is not autonomous, a dog that knows how to dog, a dog that I can walk with without dragging me, similarly a dog that I can run with whether or not they’re dragging me, a dog that I can relax on the couch with, a dog that will kiss my tears away, a dog that will argue with me, a dog that makes me laugh, a dog that makes me feel like I’m not an ice queen (I’ve been called things like that and have called myself that), a dog that makes other people smile and brighten up their day a little. Wow I have a long list of things. I guess that’s less of what I want in a good dog and more of what kinds of dogs I have. Unless they’re annoying me (something they are prone to intentionally do), I love my dogs and I feel like I have a pack of good dogs. I might be biased.
They could use some work, but ultimately I love them no matter what. Except when Buddy slimes me…that is something I could do without.
Until next time…who’s a good dog? You’re a good dog!