In my experience changing a dog’s unhealthy habits can be accomplished with more ease than changing a human’s unhealthy habits. Why? Is it because the dog is less intelligent than the human? In my estimation it is not that the dog is less intelligent.
A dog is generally more observant and therefore a more insightful communicator than an ‘untrained human’. Insight and observation are attributes that support logic. The lack of insight creates opportunity for confusion, emotion and chaos.
A dog will willingly accept another mode of behavior when true logic is offered whereas we humans – in our single minded fashion ‘doggedly’ reject logic in favour of our emotive state. A type of stubborn that does us little good. What we need instead is ‘good’ stubborn. For the purposes of this discussion we will call ‘good stubborn’ – patience.
A dog has plenty of patience – to wait patiently for an opportunity, or to persist with great determination.
On the other end of the spectrum, we humans are rapidly losing a sense of what patience truly represents.
As technology continues to evolve at an ever increasing rate we humans are facing a real challenge on many fronts – some of which directly affect our ability to understand and support the psychological well-being of our canine companions.
We are becoming less adept at perceiving and intentionally using all of our senses. This has a deleterious effect on our ability to effectively communicate. We are relying more and more on technology and less on our own senses to accomplish many normal daily functions. We spend less time on face-to-face communication – this trend certainly does not improve our face-to-face communication skills. Our desk-top and mobile devices perform ‘spell check’ for us. The internet allows us to look at a vast array of images and information during the course of a typical day. Our human brain is fluid in its ability to evolve along with us as we change the way we work and play in our daily lives. If you spend a sizable portion of your day using a technological device (computer, hand-held device, etc.) you gain skills but you also lose skills. What you gain is access to a wealth of images and information. What we lose is our attention span, and with that goes a loss of attention span and the ability to accurately observe and retain information. To gain back what we are losing and strike a healthy balance between what technology has to offer and what nature gave us to use is of the utmost importance to maintaining healthy relationships with ourselves and with others.
“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place” – George Bernard Shaw
Our sense of time is changing – what was once considered fast is now considered slow. Our sense of patience, our sense of being present in the moment is changing. We think of ten seconds as a long time, when in fact it is just a few seconds
Misunderstanding, miscommunication, loss of patience, loss of perspective and falling victim to our default state creates a situation where the human and the dog end-up in conflict – this is reflected in the ever increasing number of dogs with behavioral problems.