So, you have a crazy dog. Are they really crazy, or is something or someone (probably you) making them act crazy? You’ll change your mind after you read this.
Crazy Dog Basics
Before we go too deep down the rabbit hole, what do we mean by ‘crazy’? Can dogs actually be crazy?
Sure can! Visit a dog pound and see dogs that have been caged for too long – they’re often depressed. Dogs can carry the mental scars from mistreatment, which can show as being fearful or anxious or worse. Some dogs are hyperactive, or have eating disorders. There are plenty of crazy dogs out there, and far more than there should be.
A Simple Crazy Dog Example
A puppy has been smacked and yelled at repeatedly for pooping on the carpet, or under the table, or in all sorts of wrong places. The poor puppy gets so upset and scared of the yelling and smacking, he eats his own poop to cover the crime. Eating his own poop? What a crazy dog!
But it wasn’t the puppy’s fault. His human drove him crazy.
(To totally avoid that problem, read How to Potty Train a Puppy.)
Crazy Dog World
That was a simple example, but now I’ll take you right inside the mind of another crazy dog.
This crazy dog wasn’t born defective. He doesn’t suffer from PTSD and he wasn’t abused as a puppy. He’s a well fed and well cared for dog. But there are issues. You see, he’s crazy…
OK. Are you ready to follow me down the rabbit hole? Let’s say that now I am that crazy dog, and you are my owner.
From my crazy dog point of view, you are a whole heap of trouble. You’re clearly inferior – you only have two legs, you don’t have a decent dog smell, and you have no idea at all about how to behave.
We do live together, so you are part of our dog pack. It’s just lucky for you that I, your dog, am the pack leader.
Yes, I’m the pack leader:
I show you that leadership every time we take a walk. I’m always out the front, leading you on. Pack Leader? Most certainly, yes!
I’ll ignore your calls if I’ve found something interesting. Pack Leader, obviously. I don’t answer to you.
I get your attention whenever I want it by barking or jumping up on you. Pack Leader? Clearly, yes!
I leave my bone wherever I want to and you don’t dare touch it. Pack Leader? Of course.
Yes, I’m clearly the pack leader.
But, you! You are trouble. It’s my responsibility as pack leader to look after you, but how can I do that when you keep wandering off and getting lost behind that front door?
I bark and bark and bark to call you back. Still you don’t come.
You may be a strange two-legged dog but I still need to save you. It looks like I need to scratch and chew my way through that door to get to you. You are just so much trouble!
Back to Our World
Someone seeing a dog barking madly and trying to chew through a door might think to themselves, “Now, that’s a crazy dog”.
But now that we’ve seen it from the dog’s point of view, we know the dog isn’t crazy. He’s just been given a crazy responsibility, and he’s doing his very best. He’s doing his best and he’ll probably be reprimanded for it, which will confuse matters even more.
It’s no wonder we have so many (seemingly) crazy dogs out there.
We’ve only covered two examples so far and in both cases the humans are causing the problems. Humans cause most dog problems.
Is This Your World?
Are you driving your dog crazy?
When your dog goes ‘nuts’ with barking or excitement, what do you do? Do you go ‘nuts’ too, further encouraging the behavior or are you a calming influence?
Does your dog believe they are the pack leader? Does your dog lead you down the street?
We humans cause trouble, but it can all be fixed. Making sure your dog knows that you are the pack leader is the best place to start, and that can now be done in a calm and gentle way.
Take up Doggy Dan’s trial and go straight to his Pack Leader 5 Golden Rules to start on the journey to having one less crazy dog. You’ll be glad you did.