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Understand your why.

According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, we act to fulfil needs.

Different people have dogs for different reasons. This can also affect how we think about, live with and treat our dogs. If we become more aware of how this is working for us, our dogs and society, and how it's not working, we can make changes.

Too much of a good thing isn't necessarily a good thing.

For example:

Love and connection

*Much adored dogs who have complete freedom and create havoc in the home and outside it.

*Much adored, massively obese dogs whose owners give them all the food they want as a sign of their love.


*Dogs bred, chosen and reared for their ability to look and act tough (might be bred for extreme looks and behaviour and treated quite harshly to 'toughen them up'.)

*Dogs bred, chosen and reared for their eye catching looks at the expense of their wellbeing. Some examples are:

*extreme facial features which affect heat tolerance and breathing e.g. bulldogs.

*long, low dogs with leg and back issues e.g. basset hound, daschund, Jack Russell terriers.

*popular colours e.g. excessive white - skin allergy issues, sun damage, deafness etc.

If you understand the needs that dog ownership fulfils for you, and genuinely care about how your dog fits into the puzzle, you can adapt what you do now and in the future.

It's often easier to act for the good of another, rather than ourselves, so pay attention to how your actions might be negatively affecting your dog or other people and animals.

Consider whether this is really okay.

If you find yourself realising that it might not be, you can begin to make small, sustainable adjustments for everybody's benefit :).


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