It's the social gene that binds man and dog. We're both species that live in packs, dogs just seem to be better team players. They also have a better understanding of their role in society.
The thing is, humans have complete control over their pets: where they live, what they eat, what they do. And frankly, that makes me sad, because so many dog owners do it wrong.
Aside from feeding a dog ultra-processed food like kibble, the issue that irks me the most about some dog owners is that they're oblivious to the social gene that we share. These folks may mean well, but they kill their precious pooches with kindness, cater to Fifi's every ridiculous whim and don't even try to socialize their dogs. It's not even on their radar.
Like the owners who anxiously tug away their dogs from saying hello to yours on a dog walk. Like the adorable little powder puff that snaps at you when you try to pet him. Like the guy on my street with the cocker spaniel who tells me, "He only likes people with wavy hair and freckles. Hates all dogs."
Yeah, right. What is his dog? The reincarnation of the Unabomber?
I don't know about you, but I want a grinning, back-slapping, guffawing dog by my side. I want him to wag his tail when he sees a person or another dog, I want him to be the star of the dog park. And I really want him to line-dance with my grandmother.
The irony of all this is that it's easier to raise a social dog than an anti-social one. There's nothing to it, just include your dog in your world from the get-go. Even if you adopted a rescue dog with issues, it can be rehabilitated. Watch a few episodes of Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, and you will understand.
Of course, if you don't want your pet to interact with the world you might consider getting a chameleon or a tarantula and have a grand ole time feeding them bugs and frozen mice. Just know that a dog is meant to be a part of your world. That's his mission.
Is your dog socialized?