We’ve all seen the hysteria online, the sheer volume of aggression and hate by normally very civilised people. In the park most of us dog owners are lovely… at least most of us. Online, however it’s chaos.
Here are four reasons dog owners are mean online.
Reason One – CLASSIC HUMANS BEING HUMANS.
A part why we’re so intolerable online boils down to human nature and how we establish our realities (the way we think). And within the world of dogs, it’s the way each of us thinks about what a dog is and what dog ownership means.
Dog ownership requires us to create a framework of ideas and practices surrounding what a dog is and what being a dog owner requires from us. Mostly, this is gathered from nuggets of information passed on from family members, friends, trainers, vets, god forbid other people online and maybe even a book or two.
We all compile different nuggets and therefore have completely different conceptions of what dogs are and what we need to be for them. This difference between us is exacerbated online, fighting with the pen and not the sword is much easier.
Despite the individuality of each persons framework, everyone’s framework is there for the same reason. To allow us to feel secure that we are doing right by our fur babies, the non-human that we are totally responsible. When that framework is criticized, that makes us INSECURE about whether we’re doing the right thing. To be discussed (Reason 4).
Reason Two – WE’RE MOSTLY ALL WRONG.
The truth is, nearly all of us haven’t the foggiest of clue about what dogs really are. Canine research is 20 years behind human research, so we’re all only just learning about the best ways to keep them happy and healthy. Yes we have some knowledge, but the details no mean a lot…. here’s an example.
We age dogs wrong. The old conventional way for working out the age of a dog (1 human year to 7 dog years), was TOTALLY WRONG. In fact 14 years is actually closer to 70 dog years. If your dog dies at 14 years, that is not old. See below.
(Wang et al., Cell Press, 2020)
Even from Vets and trainers, but especially from family members and friends, most of the information shared is pretty much, just a little wrong. “What works for me” or “my dog loves it” isn’t classic canine science, yet understandably you see these sayings so frequently, because where the hell can we find truthful and accurate information on dogs?
Veterinary Health sold out to big pharma and chocolatier companies. Prescribe prescribe prescribe, no advice on good healthcare practice and preventative lifestyle measures.
Dog Nutrition is even harder, in this case what’s best for our dogs has been hidden by businesses trying to take your money.
Trainers have different methods for every single possible issue. (More understandable than the previous two)
The sum of this misinformation is having a really detrimental effect.
47% of dogs die from cancer, which is mostly a lifestyle disease, it’s never been more evident how wrong most of us are doing it. (Approx. 80-90% of Cancers are caused by incorrect lifestyle and environment.
Reason Three – We think our dog’s can tell us how good we are as owners, which is wrong.
There is an assumed “lost in translation”, that our dogs can speak and tell us how good we are doing as dog owners. However, it’s really not the case, our dogs can talk (it’s more of us owners needing to read the signals) and sometimes the signals are subtle, but they can also be quite obvious.
If your dog can’t Sit/ Stay/ Come in the park (Probably you’re lacking in effort)
If your dog is fat (You’re not aware that obesity is a killer)
If your dog beats the crap out of other dogs in the park (Mistakes during puppy training)
Frequently in the Vets (Small mistakes we’ve engrained in their daily lifestyle, typically, can be hereditary in rare cases).
More Subtle Signs
Brown teeth (Wrong diet which can in fact cause cancer)
Lazy dogs (You’re view of your dog as being lazy, it’s proven they change to our perceptions of them)
Allergies (Breeder errors with diet and weaning and sterile early environments)
Dead from Cancer at 10-12 (Could be a combination of lifestyle factors – too many vaccines/ castrated or spade to young/ over wormed/ wrong food)
Sometimes we can’t see the obvious signs. And sometimes, if gone unnoticed, they can be deadly.
Reason Four – We can’t admit mistakes & when we feel insecure, we lash out.
That trusty framework that we chose for our dogs, that make us feel secure that we’re doing right by them, often people just can’t even fathom that they’d be doing it wrong. They reject insecurity. The thought of doing bad by the dog can be heartbreaking, too much to handle, impossible, or maybe they just couldn’t see a better way.
People to this day, will argue to the death, that never feeding a dog fresh food ingredients is perfectly ok. Why? “Jimmy lived to 13 and was happy”. But Jimmy could have lived to 17 if you’d fed him a fresh food diet, maybe cancer free. If you’d accepted new training techniques based around reward, Jimmy could have been happier to, also you could have been happier. Any improvement you make for your dog, it’s always mutually beneficial, that is dog ownership!
Dog ownership has always been about improving for each other, so we can better each other’s lives. To deny errors and to reject insecurity is to fall back on the very essence of what it’s all about. We can’t improve for them without accepting error first.
Canine research is 20 years behind human research, we are going to learn so many amazing things that will enhance the human experience with dogs. It’s important to remember that pointing out bad dog ownership does NOT make you a good dog owner. Having a healthy, happy, well trained dog and being open to learning new things for them – that’s all you can do. Stay offline…….said I.