The Inner Dog LLC
About Dogs & Humans
I've been a around a lot of dogs in my life. But it wasn't until I became an Explosives Detection K9 Handler in my police department that I learned to listen to, understand and trust my dog. I always did a little of that with every dog I'd been around, but this really drove it home. I learned not just to look, but observe. I learned not just to hear, but to listen. I learned not just to recognize, but to understand. I learned to "speak dog". I learned that my K9 Sanders and I were companions, partners, and friends. I became part dog.
HUMANS:There are many facets to what is described as the human condition: our many emotions, our ego, our beliefs. For eons, humans have thought of yourselves as the "king of the world", the smartest of all living things with a steadfast belief that we and we alone are the best of all species. This has been epitomized in how we've lived with our canine companions, among others. We've been told that we are the "Master", the "Alpha", and that we must exert our dominance over them in order for our dogs to respect us, please us, listen to us and behave as they're commanded. Many still believe that our dogs try and "dominate" us which then begs the question: if our dogs are dependent on us for all of their needs, then how could they "dominate" us? We have imposed on our dogs an impossible standard: be friends with every person and dog, listen, understand and respond perfectly to our every command without hesitation and never, ever make a mistake. Ironically, this is a standard we'd never impose nor expect of ourselves because we know that humans aren't perfect- go figure.
DOGS: Science tells us that canis familiaris (domestic dogs) as a whole are the least confrontational of all species. Science has now definitively told us that dogs are NOT canis lupus (wolves) though they were domesticated from social wolves 15000-30000 years ago. Science has definitively shown us that a pack of wolves is a familial group of the breeding pair and offspring and that they do everything together with a natural leadership born of parenting, not seeking dominance one over the other. Science has shown us that free roaming dogs may form loose horizontal hierarchies that are very fluid. Science has shown us that the process of domestication has created a species that has forgotten how to share and have had some base primal instincts suppressed. Science tells us that when dogs are outside, they can smell and possibly hear out to 3 miles in a 360 degree radius. Science tells us that dogs have night vision near as well as cats and can also see in the ultra violet light spectrum. Science tells us that dogs have the ability to effectively communicate with almost all other species on the planet- something that humans don't do very well even with each other. Science tells us that dogs have a deeper set of emotions than originally thought and that they're ability to react to these emotions is on par with our own. Science has shown us that the mature canine brain has the cognitive skill level of a 3-5 year old child. Science has shown us that the canine brain, though smaller, functions just like ours.
"What is the Truth As the Dog Sees It?"
Pat Whitacre; Trainer, Behaviorist, Mentor, Colleague, Friend