The Everly Brothers, Dog Behavior and Love

I think the Everly Brothers had a dog with behavior problems.  Thus the song, Love Hurts.  Do you think they would have called me?  Not sure, but it is still a great oldie!  And, if you listen closely, there are many parallels in the words of the song that may oftentimes express what we, as humans, experience as we continue in our ongoing “love affair” with our dogs. “Love hurts, love scar, love wounds and mars.”

During a recent client-puppy lesson just before Christmas, I was reminded again of the vulnerability people have when it comes to their “wants and needs” from their puppy or dog.  All they want is for their puppy to love them which can create unwanted dog behavior.  It’s difficult sometimes to try and walk that “tight rope” called explanation (what they need), while at the same time give clients what they want!  We (canines and humans) are both very social creatures.  How can our seemingly common need for togetherness be interpreted so differently by each other?  I suppose it all depends on who’s doing the interpreting.  There’s an old saying – “When you treat a dog like a person, he’ll treat you like a dog.”  Ouch!  LOVE HURTS! 

With new little puppies looking so cute and cuddly, you just want to carry them around all the time and keep them in your lap.  When that puppy, grows into an adult dog and begins to run the house and control you because of all the love and lap time as a puppy, it’s difficult to suddenly stop loving the old way and restructure that relationship to love in a way that would begin to fix your dog behavior problems.  LOVE HURTS.

Maybe this analogy will help:  We as Americans traditionally shake hands and/or hug friends when we see them.  In some countries, hugging, because of cultural differences, would not be acceptable, and would be interpreted differently.  Dog language and dog culture is simply different from human language and human culture. 

LOVE.  Call it what you want.  Dogs simply interpret it differently.  They always will.

But, it’s not up to me to change how you LOVE your dog.  Enjoy the song and be sure to listen carefully.
Love Hurts by The Everly Brothers

Jim Burwell  Jim Burwell’s Petiquette

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