Dogs are known to be ‘man’s best friend’ because of their boundless loyalty and willingness to protect their masters. We hear numerous stories of pooches that give their lives to save their owner without a second thought. Why are dogs so fiercely protective of their masters and why do they display such loyalty?
A dog will consider you to be part of his family as much as you consider him to be part of yours. They grow up knowing you and get used to having you around. Dogs do not take too kindly to those who seemingly pose a threat to their family for this reason. Protectiveness comes from a dog’s wolf ancestors and centuries of breeding, which means that dogs instinctively know when a human child is in need of care.
Dogs are extremely clever and are fully aware that their master takes good care of them. It is only natural for a dog that is treated well to repay the favor by ensuring his master comes to no harm. Although dogs are extremely loyal, part of that loyalty comes from a self-preservation instinct, as they know that if their owner is hurt, their food and shelter arrangements are at risk.
If you own a dog that comes from an abusive background, you may notice that he is extra protective. As we mentioned above, dogs are smart and are fully aware of the horrible treatment they were subjected to in the past. When a dog arrives in new surroundings with a new owner that feeds him properly, pets him, and is generally nice to the pet, the dog will obviously look to reciprocate this kindness.
It is also possible for an owner to encourage this protective behavior by approving of it. You need to be careful not to make your pet overly protective, so do not allow your canine companion to snap at everything that moves without reprimanding him. If your dog snaps at a stranger on the street when you are walking him, for example, and you do nothing to discipline him, the dog will take this as approval and will continue on this path. If you allow your dog to become too aggressive and protective, you are making him think that you are weak and in need of protection; this ensures you are not seen as the pack leader. Therefore, you need to stop this aggressive behavior before it gets out of hand.
A well treated dog will always come to the aid of his owner, so be grateful that your four-legged friend values you so highly. However, you must ensure that your dog does not become overprotective as this can lead to problems in the future.
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