Understanding your dog’s behavior is essential to a creating a partnership between species. Your dog has its own way of perceiving its environment, which includes your words, smells, body language, and reactions to the dog and your own environment. Stressors in your environment can impact a dog in ways that only canines can recognize. These stressors can impact your dog in a variety of ways that ultimately manifest in behavior changes, including changes in the way your dog responds to you.

Your dog is your mirror. Many of our stresses manifest in ways that only our dogs can see. Sometimes we can look to our dogs to notice the areas in our life where we are exhibiting stresses, because those stresses have a direct impact on our dog. The relationship you have with your dog can inspire you to shape your world in a way that allows you to express yourself in new ways without the confines of language and allow for the possibility of change and freedom for your dog. Just as you can shape your world in a way that allows you to control your environment, you can shape your world and your emotions to impact your dog’s environment and behavior.

Our environment is a creation of our perception, and our dogs invite us to see the world through their eyes. It’s only when we take a look at the world through their perception that we are able to recognize that everything we have is just tools to help us survive a world in which we rely on other people to provide for us, care for us, love us, and provide us with a sense of familiarity within our environment.

Treating dogs like we would treat ourselves allows us to recognize that we are all interconnected in a way that impacts other species on the earth. This treatment of dogs should be seen as a way in which we find the truth that is evident in nature and allows us to find our soul. Finding ourselves mirrored in our dogs eyes, we see that the whole person is contained within a single glance, in a single moment, judged not by who we are or what we have done, but who we are, as whole, divine, inspirational people who have the capacity for goodness despite what others or we ourselves may think. Our dogs teach us a new meaning for the word partnership.

Guest Writer, Zack Wilson, Wildlife Biologist