Being a dog owner is a huge responsibility. It’s nothing less than having a baby. And being a dog owner to a large breed like German Shepherd is even tougher. It’s because of their traits. They’re intelligent and wise. But at the same time, they develop temper problems if they’re not raised well. Imagine a huge dog with a bad temper! It’s a disaster. Then they are prone to a number of diseases like hip dysplasia and arthritis in old age. All of this can be somewhat prevented if you are careful about your dog’s nutrition in its early days.
Raising a German Shepherd taught me a lot of lessons and here are top 5 lessons I learned (Also read: leadership lessons I learned from my dog).
Dogs live in packs and they always look for an alpha. When they don’t have alpha, one of them becomes one. When you bring a GSD in your house, it looks for the authority figure. If it doesn’t get one, it becomes one. And when they become a leader in a pack of humans, it’s catastrophic. They would ask you to take them for walks at random times, make your home a mess, be choosy about food and be disobedient. It also becomes very aggressive and possessive about anyone it loves.
By being the alpha of my dog, I learned how important it is to become a leader in all aspects of my life. You have to take control of your own life. Just like a dog requires a calm and assertive leader, you require these qualities for leading your own life peacefully. If you bring these two things in your life, 80 % of your problems will be solved (something that I experienced in my life).
So, I sit on a one-seater sofa and this giant pig (something I call my Frodo out of love) wants to sit just besides me. Of course, there’s no space. But still it will jump in and try to fit in. The same happens when I am on my bed. It wants to sleep with me right in the corner where I am asleep. It will first crawl in the small space available. Rest. Then stretch its legs gradually and eventually occupy the entire space.
That’s the strategy you need to follow when you need to make your space in any aspect of your life. Start slowly. Then expand. Make it slow and continuous process and you shall succeed.
Let me share a secret! I cry when I am angry. I let all the anger build up inside me, probably shout on someone if I get the chance and then at the end of the day, I snuggle in a corner of my room and cry my heart out. The only living being around me in those times is this German Shepherd.
He comes to me and sits there gazing at me. When he gets the attention, he starts licking my tears. He sits beside me and trust me! It makes me feel so good.
How many times do we do that to our loved ones? How many times do we try to understand that they’re going through some pain, stress or sadness? How many times do we show them we care?
Even when my dog doesn’t understand why I’m crying, it just makes it a point to let me know that it’s there for me. And that means so much for me.
My Frodo taught me a relationship lesson that how important it is to let your loved ones know that you’re there for them and what a great impact it can make on them.
Now don’t let your imagination go wild and think of random stuff. Rather think of how your better half is always busy on your laptop whenever you want to talk. Think of how your parents always deny that they need any kind of help from you. Instead of just let that be, I learnt how such actions require different kind of reaction.
I have seen how my mom felt so happy when I bought her a thing she really needed, but never asked for. I have seen how my friends feel happy when we actually talk (after I forced them to get off their phones) while having lunch with one another. I learned that sometimes you have to do things which your loved ones require but won’t ask.
How did I learn that? Well, if you have a German Shepherd, you would know how they use their strong nose to poke your arms when they want to be petted. You can try ignoring them but when these creatures want your love, they get it. (And sometimes they get scolded too when it gets too much 😀 )
They will do crazy things. Chew your newly bought pair of shoes, scratch your very new bed and rip apart whatever paper they can find. But when you look at them with anger in your eyes, they look back with cute pitiful eyes that would make anyone’s heart melt. They don’t reply back with anger, rather they submit and make you want to make a guilty dog video and upload on Youtube.
Not every angry action needs a similar reaction. Sometimes, being calm and cool is the best thing. Use your “I am so nice” charm on people. Yes, this idea can also be associated with how people get their own way by being nice to people but then that’s how world works.
These are my top 5 lessons I learned from my German Shepherd. Do you own a dog? Did it teach you something? Share!