We often talk about dogs’ behaviour being unpredictable and that people need to be careful of them. But I wonder what dogs make of our ‘unpredictable’ behaviour towards them. They read our faces and gestures and understand them. Then we open our mouths and yell, screech, roar at them in a scary manner that contradicts what they have read, giving them mixed messages. One day, we allow them to jump on the sofa; the next day we yell at them to get down! We spoil them rotten and then wonder why, like children, they start demanding more with menace!
Our inconsistent behaviour must be very stressful for them. Yet, despite those inconsistencies, most dogs love us unconditionally.
That should give us pause for thought, shouldn’t it?