WVC 92nd Annual Conference
The human animal bond is more intense than ever, and yet the relationships between people and their dogs are in many ways more troubled than ever. Often clients are so caught up in unrealistic, romanticized ideas and expectations about their beloved canine companions that they completely neglect to consider their whole welfare. Thousands of years of selective breeding dogs for very specific behaviors, and jobs haven't simply vanished in the 21st century simply because we no longer employ most of these dogs for the tasks they were bred to do. Though we imagine our dogs as having the best welfare imaginable. In many cases, we surprisingly often fail to meet key fundamental components of basic welfare (as defined by The Five Freedoms) by neglecting to provide appropriate expressions for hard-wired needs. Behavior problems are a common consequence of compromised welfare; fear and distress are all too often employed in the name of training dogs into an obedient state. Loved, yes – but behavior problems fracture the human animal bond and they may be loved to death.