I have one of the best jobs in the world — helping dogs and POGs (parent/owner/guardians) better understand each other. I love it when I hear a POG say this: “That makes so much sense.” It validates everything I do.

What often follows is “Why didn’t I think of that myself?”

My flippant answer, meant to illicit a laugh, is “I don’t know, but I’m glad you didn’t because it’s how I make my living.”

But there is another, deeper answer to that question, and it is this:

“You have been indoctrinated to think a certain way about dogs, and most of that information that you were given is wrong. No one told you that, so you have been trying to communicate in a completely ineffective way. It becomes frustrating for you, and certainly it is frustrating to the dog as well.

“When you don’t communicate, you misinterpret, and react in inappropriate and sometimes harmful ways. At its best, you can get things done with a struggle; at its worst, there is a total breakdown and someone gets damaged, perhaps irrevocably.

“It’s so sad, and so preventable. Now that you know, from this moment forward, please join me in my mission to fix the communication problem. Tell everyone you can that there is no need to fight for dominance with your dog. What you need to fight for is the proper translation. Cooperation. Partnership. Mutual respect. And FUN!!!”

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