Tuesday, March 13, 2012

List Five NEEDS of every dog

When talking about the absolute basic needs of every dog, whether that dog be a dog works for a living such as a Police Dog, or Herding Dog, or a dog that is a stray or belonging to a homeless person, or your own dog, a family companion, what are every dogs most basic needs in life? Most people come up with: Food Water Shelter Companionship/love Some may add others such as: Security Exercise/Physical Stimulation Mental Stimulation I doggy beg to differ. Think about this. As prey animals, as mammals, the most important element of any dog is survival. Of course, they have the needs as listed above, but how would they get those needs to begin with. In our companion dog world, food falls out of the sky magically, in fancy dog bowls every day, scheduled and on time. If we take a look at the first list above, we can actually combine it all into one even bigger need... think about it. Its the need to HUNT! The need to scavenge. That need in its own takes care of, Food, Water and Shelter. The dog must use its senses and skills in hunting to find food and water and then ultimately seek shelter. The need to hunt is so vital, but do all dogs know how to hunt? What does it take to develop this skill, is every dog born with this ability. Sure they are! As predators, they must have keen senses that are innate for hunting. These senses are developed and matured, through the greatest of needs of every dog. Do you know what that is? Its the NEED TO PLAY. Think about Lion Cubs for example. They too need to survive right... they must find food, water and seek shelter to survive. Lets go through the cycle of life. When the cubs are born, their mum provides them with the food, water and shelter. Their greatest need is to play... role play. Through play, they learn how to work as a team, they learn how to use their mouth, their body and their strength to get what they want. Play teaches them confidence, body awareness, stability, trust, respect, speed... they develop strength, skill, precision, reliability... all through practice of play. As they get older, and are more independent, the use these skills for survival. They apply this skill set to survival, and now the need to hunt becomes the most important need. When you take away the opportunity of play and hunting from a dog, you have in essence damaged that dog. Providing food, water, shelter, and love does not replace their desire and need to play and hunt. In fact, it makes them so frustrated, so agitated, so anxious, so stressed and so disabled... they type of dog we very commonly see as companion dogs.

No comments: