Are Dogs Just a Piece of Property?

Posted on February 24th, 2020 by FetchMasters in Uncategorized

Dog training is my specialty, not philosophy. However, having one foot in the pet dog side of dog training and another foot in the hunting dog side, the question arises fairly frequently: Are dogs family members? Or are they just piece of property?

How one sees this issue can play a big part in how they treat dogs. On the one hand, if one sees dogs primarily as property, it is easy to justify not putting much effort into socialization activities, enrichment activities, dog training beyond what is necessary to do a specific job … hunting for instance.

On the other hand, if one views dogs as intelligent beings, creatures with a high degree of emotional capacity, creatures with social needs not too unlike our own, then it becomes increasingly difficult to justify giving them an overly restrictive life in an outdoor kennel or confined to the back yard.

From a legal perspective, there is no argument that dogs largely are property. After all, we are able to buy them, use them, enjoy them, and dispose of them. Fortunately the legal system does provide some level of protection for dogs – especially in cases of severe abuse.

From a not-so-legal perspective, anyone who has personally trained a dog, bonded with it, lived with it, loved it, cared for it and suffered through its loss tends to have a different understanding of the issue. Once one has experienced the rich capacity of dogs to be … well … our best friends, seeing them as property tends to be much more difficult.

What do you think?

For Dog Training in Denver, Colorado, check out the FetchMasters Dog Training site.

For Dog Training outside of the Denver Metro area, check out our Distance Coaching Program.

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