If You Are a Dog What Do You Do?

Boston terrier puppy


The fact that the dog loves PEOPLE in a way no other animal on earth can or ever will is an unsolved, but inarguable, genetic-creation mystery.

Puppies are not ducks. They aren’t born knowing how to swim, but by the time their eyes are open (unlike fox, coyote, woIf, lion or tiger CUBS) dog babies, called PUPPIES, are born to love a HUMAN.

Not only unique among carnivores, the dog is bonded—unlike any other animal on earth—to humans. It can be said that the love between a mahout and his elephant is the only comparison, but even in that remarkable bond, untethered, the elephant will seek his own kind. The dog, untethered, will stay with his master.

While that is sinking in, think about this…the DOG is also the only living creature that will suffer abuse, starvation, sickness, even death, and with his last breath he will love you and, if able, he will lick your hand…

So (not to digress into the age-old argument of Creation vs. Evolution) let’s suppose there is a process, whether natural or Divinely created, that continues to shape the human race today. Either way, dog owner or zoologist, I think we can agree that dogs are becoming more intelligent and capable…and those of us who are already pretty smart are getting better at understanding them.

Is this a process of natural evolution or is it some kind of planned programming?

The answer is as complicated as the Paleolithic Era is long. That period of human history was at least 20,000 years ago and, since we were just beginning to discover meat with our veggies, we probably noted two things. One, that pregnancy was the pits and, two, that wolves had nannies…

dog what do you do

It took us a while to catch on to the nanny-thing. Any fertile female can have children but, let’s admit, some women are better at it. Psychologists debate whether human parenting comes naturally or is it an acquired skill? We learn from other human mothers. We even take classes! OK, we won’t tackle that debate except to say that caring for kids or raising puppies takes time and patience.

Hopefully your child will learn there are limits, but what about your puppy? Your kid went to school where he learned about rules, basic behavioral, and social skills. What and from whom did your new puppy learn?

If a young human needs structured education, why wouldn’t a young dog need the same things…to be taught to think, to avoid danger, to learn social skills and how to play properly?

In a pack, the way nature intended, he would learn how to survive and do well. A wild coyote or wolf cub is an eager learning machine. He learns by watching his dam, then other pack members, and by experimenting. It is the latter that can get a child or a “pack-less puppy” in trouble.

The domestic puppy, left alone most of the day, will be stressed and bored, with nothing for his eager brain to latch on to. If loose in the house, he will find a leather shoe or a chair to chew. (He isn’t keen on plastic bones or synthetic fabrics.) Bowel and bladder will demand to be emptied, and paper instinctively feels “foreign” to his feet (and it doesn’t smell “earthy” either). Carpet feels and smells the most like dirt and it is equally as absorbent.

If he’s outside, he will bark (loudly and often) hoping his pack will hear him and come back. Bored, the puppy will distract himself by digging, instinctively looking for buried bones or seeking to cool down in damp earth.

If you’re still with me, you are thinking. After all, YOU have a well-developed brain and reasoning capabilities. So, see yourself as a bored, lonesome, uncertain child. You’ve scribbled in that coloring book. You’ve watched TV you don’t understand. You need a hug and your stomach feels bad. You begin to cry, but no one comes, and you feel soooo alone.

If you are a dog, what do you do? Suck your thumb or chew-up a shoe?

If you are a dog,

What do you do?


If You Are a Dog What Do You Do? – Showsight Magazine January 2021 Issue


  • Barbara “BJ” Andrews is the breeder of over 300 AKC Champions including over a dozen All-Time record holders. She is the author of 8 breed books and founder of 3 AKC Breed Clubs. In 1998 she launched the world’s first public website (TheDogPlace.org) followed by TheDogPress.com and TheJudgesPlace.com which, as part of the NetPlaces Network, serves all facets of dog ownership and exhibition. She and husband Bill pioneered the Akita, Miniature Bull Terrier, and Toy Fox Terrier to AKC recognition and BJ served on the board of each Parent Club. She has judged in England and AKC Specialty Sweeps. She was awarded UKC All Breeds approval but has never applied for an AKC judges license because it could interfere with objective reporting on the sport.

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