Dogs are an enormous part of our lives, with more dog friendly areas springing up left and right, including dog friendly hotels and stores. They’re not just a “pet” anymore. The capacity they have to positively impact a humans life is immeasurable. Dogs have us in the palm of their paws, and they know it. They know we need them, and they know we love them, and they have the ability to manipulate our relationship with them in their favor.
Originally being used for work and solely work, canines have morphed into our everyday companions, showing us endless love and affection. It’s strange that we’re not in awe of them, like we are of wild species, but the spectrum of what they’re capable of doing, and how they have taken over our lives, is incomparable to any other canine species, or any wild species for that matter.
The key to the dog take over is simple, our dogs have become masters at reading our emotions. When I get ready for work, no matter what job I’m going to that day, I let out my dog, and when he comes in he runs straight to his crate, awaiting his treat. He’s become a great reader of when I’m leaving and when he needs to go into his crate.
While dogs don’t ponder or think ahead, they do observe, and they are very good at observing what we do each day, and the steps we take before we perform certain actions. If you do an action so often that it becomes commonplace, such as walking your dog everyday after work, they will start to put two and two together. Now when you put on your sneakers, before you even grab your leash, they’ll have an idea that you’re about to go for a walk!
Not only can their observant behavior help them to become further aware of actions we’re about to do, but it can also turn into a way that they can manipulate us into doing what they want. If every time your dog picks up a shoe, you yell at them, then distract them with a treat in order to get the shoe…then you’ve further reinforced their behavior, so now if they want a treat, they’re aware that this works.
This can also help them get out of things they don’t care for. If your dog shakes every time they show up to grooming, and you proceed to feel bad for them, and pet them, and tell them “it’s okay” you’re basically letting them know that this is an appropriate way to act, and is what they’ll continue to do throughout all of their grooming experiences.
Dogs can reads us like a book, and it’s not always so bad. They know exactly what emotion we’re experiencing, as we’re experiencing it, and react to them the best way they know how. They’re the only beings that we don’t need to speak to in order to let them know what’s going on, they know already, and know how to comfort us.
They have seamlessly figured us out, and can interprate what we’re trying to say by the tone of our voice, and what we’re doing. They know how to act to melt our hearts, and be rewarded with treats. By learning our behavior, and reacting in ways we like, they have become some of the best manipulators on the planet.
While we may adore wild species, and fawn over them, it is the dog that seems to know what they’re doing best and get along great in a world overrun by humans.