Saturday, March 23, 2013

Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART TWO

by Dino Dogan

Dog professionals are unable to relate certain type of information to their clients

Not because they (dog professionals) don’t want to but because they can’t. And not because they don’t know it but because they don’t see it.

In PART ONE I have likened it to asking fish how it breathes under water.

The fish don’t know, it just does

Image Political Forum/Canadian Eye
Dog professionals are unaware of the very important skillset that they possess

When transferring their knowledge, the focus is often on rote  execution of techniques without paying special attention as to why those techniques work when they do.

I will list 4 attributes dog professionals have that makes them successful at what they do. I call these attributes the Fantastic 4

I maintain that the extent of your success will depend directly on the extent to which you are able to replicate these attributes.

Without further ado, lets do the first attribute; the other 3 are to follow in the upcoming posts.


I know this doesn’t sound like much, but lets take a critical look at the implications.

Here is a typical profile of a successful dog professional.

  • He spends most of his time with dogs.
    Spending time with dogs will inevitably make you a better dog person. You can learn from dogs, try different things, find out what works, work on improving your craft (after all, it’s your livelihood), take on dog’s disposition toward the world, learn from them, and countless other benefits native to this type of lifestyle.

  • His dogs spend most of his time with him.
    Regardless of what “school of thought” you come from (more on this later) we can all agree that dogs are social animals. They thrive in packs and they can definitely use a human to help guide them through this distinctly anti-canine world.

  • He is doing what he loves (no real money in dog training unless you are Cesar Milan or similar) Dog trainers usually get into the profession because they truly have natural rapport with dogs, are interested in understanding them better, and are doing what they love. People who truly enjoy what they do have a different energy about them. Have you ever noticed?

  • Speaking of Cesar Milan, spending time with your dog is the prerequisite for exercise, discipline, affection.
    How are you to exercise your dog if you’re at work most of the day? How are you to discipline (I prefer the word guidance) if you’re not there. The only thing that you are interested in doing at the end of the day is to share affection with your dog, however -as Cesar Milan puts it- that’s the last thing the dog needs from you in this situation.

  • He probably has innate ability to relate to dogs and animals in general. Some people have a naturally sunny disposition, some have a cloud hanging over them, and some are bat shit crazy. The others seem to thrive in the presence of animals. This last kind usually starts up a dog training business.

Now let’s examine a typical profile of a dog owner

  • He spends most of his time at work while his dog is alone in the house or in the back yard. At the end of the day, all you have energy for is to crash in the bed and rub your dog’s belly for 5 minutes. Your dog sees you as basically the shell of a (wo)man, your energy sucked-out by the corporate grind, and your spirit defeated and in a desperate need of a nap.

  • His dog spends most of it’s time alone without human guidance. Locked up and alone for better part of the day, your dog has no choice but to engage in all manner on nonsense.

    No purpose in life (which most dogs –and people- desperately need), no outlet for his creativity, energy and passion. Furthermore, since you are not there, how are you supposed to guide him through this distinctly human world?

    How are you supposed to provide an outlet for his creativity, energy and passion when yours has been stolen from you by your corporate overlords (sorry, couldn’t resist :-)

  • He (our imaginery dog owner) is doing what he hates. Most of us engage in jobs we do because we have to, not because we love to. This is OK (maybe not?), but we must realize that this creates a void in us; it drains our good energy and fills us with sterile, dark and cold energy provided to us by the burdens of a work-a-day. You then share this energy with not only your dog but everyone else you interact with.

  • For all these factors and more, our “imaginary” dog owner doesn’t spend enough time meeting dog’s needs (exercise being one of them).

    This might be emblematic of a larger issue. Perhaps our dog owner is not engaging in any form of exercise himself.

    I will create a separate series focusing on human and dog’s fitness and nutrition, but for now let me say this.

    Not engaging in vigorous forms of exercise removes us from our core; removes us from what humans are designed to do.

    More on this in our exercise series, but I think for now everyone can accept that exercise is important, I hope.

  • Our dog owner probably has difficulty relating to animals.
    Animals represent a very interesting puzzle for some humans. Animals can’t speak, they can’t tell you what they want, what they need or how they feel.

    Perhaps you are the kind of person that relies on this type of information from humans in order to coexist with them. If that is the case, you might have noticed that your human relationships aren’t coated with shiny-sparkle either. Why?

    As any psychologists –and common sense- will tell you, what we say is not always (or ever?) what we mean, what we say we need is almost never what we truly need, and the way we say we feel is seldom accurate.
    If you want to be good at relating to animals (and people) you have to see thought the superficial.

There will be a longer discussion on this to follow, but for now I hope you can see how our inability to “read” dogs (or people) can be detrimental to the human-dog equation.


Dino Dogan is a blogger, writer, biker, dog trainer, singer/songwriter, Martial Artist. Dino is now busy with his DIY Blogger Net blog. He is also behind the great social media tool, Triberr. Hopefully one day he'll return to dog blogging. Meanwhile, you can connect with Dino on Twitter or Facebook.

Related articles:
Human-Dog Problem Tree - PART ONE

1 comment

  1. Very interested in reading the upcoming series on fitness