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Obediently Yours

by Janis Goto

Beyond Possesions

Companionship (defined as an intimate relationship) is normally the main reason today that people today will obtain a dog. A dog can provide many years of unconditional love and devotion to you and your family. Whether you are going through difficult times or good times, a dog will stand by your side. A dog is non-judgmental of your finances, your appearance, your social status or any short comings you may have. A dog is ready and definitely willing to be a "person's best friend," if you will just show him or her HOW.

Studies have shown that people who have a good relationship with their dog will be less depressed and have a lower blood pressure than people that do not interact with a dog regularly. A good relationship with a dog exists when an owner regularly INTERACTS (pets, plays, walks and/or talks) with his or her dog. As a result of being happier and more relaxed, studies have also shown that having a family dog will also improve human relationships within a family. Another study showed that when people were put into stressful situations, they were less stressed when accompanied by their dog, even more so than when they were with their "significant other." Simply stated, a good relationship with your dog is good for your health.

A number of people who have epilepsy have developed and extra special relationship with their dogs. A story was published in the American Health Magazine (December, 1994) about a man who was an epileptic. One of his greatest fears was being suffocated by his pillow if he had a seizure while he was asleep. This worry stemmed from three of his acquaintances who had died in this manner. Luckily, this man's female Boxer dog would flip him over if he fell face down during a seizure and drag him away from any objects that could harm him. Other people with "seizure alert" dogs will attest that their dogs can sense an approaching attack in time to help. For example. One lady's dog would get her to lie down and then would lay on top of her in order to steady her during an epileptic attack.

A wonderful relationship similar to a partnership can develop between an owner and dog working together toward obedience titles. In order to earn obedience titles. Both the trainer and dog must rely on each other to perform as a team. When properly developed, as with all relationships, whether with canines or humans, this type of relationship is built on trust, honesty and mutual respect. To achieve this type of quality relationship. A step by step training method emphasizing understanding canine behavior is a must.

One of the most encouraging comments we had from one of our graduates form the "For the Love of Dogs" training program was made by an Akita owner. She said that she had not wanted to get another Akita because she did not feel comfortable with the manner in which she had been taught to train her former dog. The emphasis in her former class was the old fashion method of correcting a dog whenever it did not perform. With our "For the Love of Dogs" program she was able to successfully use a step by step training method that emphasized understanding and reading her dog. In short. She felt good about training her dog and the relationship that they developed.

Dogs are ready and willing to bring much joy into our lives. With fair and consistent guidance, along with understanding and reading your dog's body language, a wonderful and rewarding relationship will develop between you and your dog.

I hope your goals for 1996 were achieved. Wishing you much happiness, good health AND a wonderful relationship with your dog(s) in the coming year.

Copyright 1996, Janis Goto, 1780 Honahanai Place, Honolulu, HI 96821.

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