Way back when I first adopted Loki and I knew so little about high-drive, intense working dogs, and was still getting to know who he was, a woman at a dog park said what I now deem the most asinine thing anyone can ever say about a dog. She took one look at Loki happily playing with another dog and asked me if he was my dog. When I said yes, she told me, "I would never trust a dog like that. I can tell by just looking at his eyes. A dog like that once reached up from the back seat of the car and bit my mother in the neck. I can tell by looking in his eyes that you cannot trust a dog like that." She either had excellent vision to be able to see way down into Loki's heart and mental motivation from 200 feet away, while he was moving at 30 miles per hour, or that had to be the dumbest thing anyone ever said to me about any dog.
It made me sick to my stomach. I was so upset, I had to leave. Not because she didn't like the look of my dog. And not because I suddenly believed her. (Although, I have to admit, back then, he did intimidate me.) But the thought that went through my mind and still haunts me 5 years later is: what if I was someone else, foolish enough to believe her, take a dog like Loki back to a shelter, dismiss him because I believed superstition rather than taking the time to understand basic dog behavior, motivations and drives? I can't imagine what Loki's life would be like today if I had believed such idiocracy. That is, if he were to survive at all, especially if luck landed him with a dimwit like that.
Even in the age of Google searching and YouTube videos from excellent trainers, there are so many myths perpetuated by foolish people. "Don't teach an aggressive dog to tug because it makes them more aggressive" or "Don't feed a dog raw food because it makes them aggressive." My favorite: "You must win at tug to teach you are the dominant alpha." None of them founded in anything other than superstition. It's easier to believe superstition than to think about behavior and motivation.
Loki's eyes do say something. They say he's an amazing dog. Too amazing for stupid people.
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