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Error-Free Puppy Raising™ Tips

by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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Getting Started Week 31 - Fact or Fiction?

Do pets really love us unconditionally?  Fiction. If dogs live with humans and know the human provides food, shelter, and other valuables - i.e. what's needed for survival - then dogs are smart enough to show deference to survive. Deference may look like unconditional love to humans. Canines in the wild show deference and devotion to pack leaders and other higher ranking members in a pack. Dogs are social pack members, but is this true love?

Do dogs experience the same emotions we feel?  Fact. If you look at the canine brain, it is very similar to the human brain with a limbic system which is the emotional center.  Human behavioral medications are used and effective in canines. We don't know for sure but it appears that dogs experience joy, humor, love, jealousy, anger, fear, confusion, stress, playfulness, silliness, attention seeking, etc.

Are some dogs are more bonded to their owners than others?  FactDogs bond to their owners more strongly when they learn to trust them and enjoy time with them. Dogs also bond more when they connect their owners to valued resources such as feeding, walks, affection, companionship, and praise. Dogs bond more to their owners with ongoing positive training experiences that challenge the pet mentally as well as physically.

We get the dog we deserve!  So, if your dog is not the dog of your dreams, go get a newspaper and hit yourself over the head for not learning how to be a better pet parent!

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