What is life like for today’s American dogs?

Sue Sternberg shared some great overall concepts to consider about the life of a modern dog. In the United States, much has changed over the years to effect the daily lives of dogs. From her lecture, “Predicting and Handling Aggression” (2011) (which I’ve watched on dvd):

The world is getting more difficult for dogs:
– We’re not breeding for the behaviors that make up a good companion dog
– The dogs that are being breed in huge volume are not being breed for qualities that will make them successful members of society. Therefore, dogs are becoming more difficult and problematic
– Owners are busier, more stressed, and have less time
– Owners have less money (with the economic crisis)
– Less access to the natural world
– Less access to their (dog’s) natural instincts

As humans, we have a commitment to provide a dog with what she needs. And for every dog it’s a little different, but universally they need:

– To feel safe
– To be safe
– Aerobic exercise – they need to be able to tire themselves out
– Access to the natural world
– Access to her instincts – for example, access to the act of sniffing, exploring, investigating the world, hunting (not to kill, but to seek and look for things)

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