A dog training video recently reminded me that my dog sees me as his pack leader. And as such, my job is to provide for him and protect him. I provide for him by feeding him, taking him for walks, getting him to the vet, etc. But — in his eyes — do I protect him?
When small children run up to us wanting to pat him, so I just hang on to the end of the leash and let them rush him or do I ask them to stand still and let him approach them?
When stray dogs approach, do I put my dog at a disadvantage by keeping him on a tight leash or do I try to keep the dog away?
Do I keep my dog tethered on a leash at the dog park or do I take the leash off and let him move around freely?
When we’re on a walk, do I carry a spray bottle, stick, or other means of fending off dogs who threaten my dog?
Our dogs DO look to us for protection, and I think as modern dog owners, we forget that sometimes. I’m going to be more mindful of ways to protect my dog. Not to be an overprotective pet parent, and not to keep my dog from being a dog, but to provide protection when he needs it.