I just read a book. “In Defence of Dogs” by John Bradshaw. Now, some books will claim boldly to change your life; this one will change your dogs.
Bluntly, in my opinion every dog owner (or person considering owning a dog) should read it. Admittedly he gets a bit bogged down in the early chapters with evolutionary biology. He also plainly sets out that this is not a dog training manual however he more than clearly states why the dog behavioural fraternity don’t tune into ‘The Dog Whisperer’ with Cesar Millan on satellite TV.
His major conclusions about dog behaviour develop around the misunderstanding of their behaviour based purely on their evolutionary cousin – the wolf. Convincingly he builds the case that a dog, far from being a wolf in our living room continually in a battle of wills with their owner to become top dog or alpha dog is in fact a family orientated animal capable through domestication of bonding equally if not more to humans than its own kind. Much of their nature has evolved but then adapted from their lupine cousins which coupled with their tremendous ability to learn and be trained (nurturing) allows them to share their lives with us in working or domestic bliss.
A fundamental stage of the development of your pet dogs behaviour, Bradshaw explains is down to the absolutely crucial ‘socialisation’ periods in their first months of life. For this reason I implore owners of puppies to discuss the behavioural as well as health development of their pet with us at first vaccination. Also this is why at Abbey Vets we hold ‘Puppy Parties’ available for all our new puppies. These are great fun, but also critically important for social development.
In Defence of Dogs, by John Bradshaw.
Contribution by Ben Hynes