Is our labelling obsession affecting our dogs behaviour
Our we wasting our natural intelligence applying labels to behaviour?
Your dog’s behaviour is simply natural coordinated responses which can be triggered by internal and external stimuli.
A dog’s natural intelligence over the years has been gauged by their ability to perceive information and retain it as knowledge for applying to solve problems.
However, with the term intelligence has come temperament labels applied by the human. Playful, Curious, Social, Aggressive, Fearful, Anxious, Shy and Dominant.
The truth is we as humans are labelling almost unconsciously all the time, not just when it comes to an Animals temperament but in every aspect of our life.
All these labels Playful, Curious, Social, Aggressive, Fearful, Anxious, Shy and Dominant are simply the dogs emotion or mode of being at that point. But an emotion or mode can be changed and influenced by internal and external stimuli.
We do not live in just one state of mind or mode of being so why are we so quick to label it as that one state. We can control our emotions, changing them and relabel each individual emotion in our mind in the aim not to allow them to take over.
So as a dog’s mind has been likened to a human and we told they think similar to us and exhibit many similar emotional states. Would it not be right to assume then that they can also control their emotions or mode of being, change and relabel?
It is true that we all have one dominant mode of being, this is who we are truly when we are devoid of any external or internal influences (stress, anxiety ect). Your dog is no different in this way as I have often heard the words “My dog is so different in the house” or “My dog is so relaxed when there is nothing else around”.
See at that point when your dog has no external influences you see the true mode of being (what your dog is by nature). Problem is as humans we do not always recognise this as their true mode of being. We just label it again like any other emotional state, instead of using it as our foundation to make changes to our dog’s behaviour.
Finding a dog’s true nature is key; forgetting the labels, seeing our dogs for what they truly are and accepting them. Our focus can change from trying to label each emotional state or mode of being we can look to help them control and change each individual emotion in the correct way.