How Difficult Can It Be to Be a Dog Owner?

You don’t have to excuse yourself or your dog for the way you are. As long as you’re both happy, and you don’t bother anyone, you are entitled to do what you like and be the way you are.

You don’t need to be good at anything, whether it be Obedience, Agility, Musical Free Style, Heel Work to Music, Flyball, Frisbee Dog, Earth Dog, Ski-Joring, Bike-Joring, Earthdog, Rally-O, Weight Pulling, Carting, Schutzhund, Herding, Nose Work, Therapy, Field Trials, Dock Dogs, Dog Diving, Disc Dogs, Ultimate Air Dogs, Super Retriever, Splash Dogs, Hang Time, Lure Course Racing, Sled Dog Racing or Treibball; and you don’t need excuses as to why not.

We are over swamped by labels because labels sell, but they only sell if you buy them. Should you be a positive, force-free, balanced, R+, R+P-, naturalistic, moralistic, conservative, realistic, progressive, or a clicker dog owner?

Labels are not a guarantee of life-quality, high morals, or scientific correctness. They are trademarks, devised by people who want to sell you a product and control you.

Stop caring about labels. A label is a burden; it restricts you; it limits your freedom. Labels are for insecure people who need to hide behind a mask. Harmony and serenity don’t need labels.

Be skeptical of everything that spreads like fire on the step. Be suspicious of anything with a broad mass appeal. Think, question everything, control your emotions, be open-minded but constantly use your critical reasoning. Believe in yourself, be yourself. Be the person and the dog owner you want to be, and you won’t need labels.

Forget labels and focus instead on knowledge, empathy, reciprocity, and respect. These are the pillars of any healthy relationship you may develop with any individual, independently of species.

Life is great—enjoy it!

Featured image: Just do whatever you and your dog enjoy, whichever way you like it so that both of you feel good. It’s as simple as that!

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Roger Abrantes

Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology and Ethology, BA in Philosophy. Author to 27 books, speaks seven languages. Retired in 2016, lectured on Ethology, Evolutionary Biology, and Epistemology. Currently writing articles and blogs and occasionally sailing and diving in Thailand.

View all articles by Roger Abrantes

Ethology Institute