I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months lying on the floor weeping beside my 13-year-old Border Collie, Echo. She has always been particular about how she wants to be petted so I do my best to focus on her neck and belly but not her face – she doesn’t like that.
Anyone who has cared for a loved one knows that being a carer can be tough at times. Caring for a child with special needs, an elderly relative, partner with mental health; whatever the need of the person, being their carer can often be challenging. It is no different if you care for a dog with issues, and it is important that as professionals we remember this.
I recently read about Linda Michaels’ Hierarchy of Dog Needs (HDN) and was very impressed with her “positive training” approach to working with dogs and their humans. As Ms. Michaels notes below, “The HDN is supported by scientific evidence and makes no apologies for embracing protective ethics concerning our beloved dogs. The No Shock, No Prong, No Choke logo is loud and clear.”
All responsible dog people are urged to find a good trainer, attend classes and produce a wonderful canine citizen, this goes hand in hand with the saying that ‘there are no bad dogs just bad owners’ and that society thinks that it’s irresponsible not have our dogs spayed and neutered. The ‘rules’ around dogs appear to be black and white, good and bad, nice and nasty but how easy is it to abide by these largely unwritten laws on responsible dog guardianship?