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Dogs are just Dogs!

Recently while visiting a client at her home, I came across a very scary situation. When the owner opened the door to welcome me, three of her dogs ran past me, taking advantage of the open door and freely entering the street.

Caught by surprise, I couldn't do anything. When I noticed, the dogs had already passed me and ran towards the street.

Appearing not to be concerned, the dog's owner simply told me “Don't worry, they'll come back.” However, they did not. They just continued running uncontrollably down the street.

For approximately thirty seconds, the owner showed no concern. Apparently, being sure that the dogs would return. On the other hand, I already knew that situation was out of control. And my worst nightmares became true. The dogs continued running until they disappeared around the corner at the end of the street.

That was when despair took over the owner who climbed into her car to try to recover them. Seeing myself obliged to help, I ran towards one of them, having managed to grab him after a few minutes of chasing. However, the other two disappeared without being found.

Luckily, this story that could have ended in tragedy, ended with a happy ending hours later, and thanks to a lost dog’s group on Facebook, the dogs were located a few blocks from the owner's house.

And why am I telling this story? Well, there is only one truth, and it may hurt many dog owners when I say this, but the vast majority of owners overvalue intelligence, feelings, and what to expect from a dog. For that reason, I'm here to tell you all the honest truth about dogs.

Dogs are just dogs. Yes, they can be trained to perform tasks that are somewhat complex and require focus and attention. But at the end of the day, they're just dogs.

I've seen highly trained dogs die from being run over because they saw a squirrel across

the street and instinctively ran toward it, crossing a dangerous avenue. Dogs that are “trained” to walk without a leash, but when an interesting smell is found, running away from their owners. Even though they are called, with the owner shouting desperately, the dog just decides to ignore him.

“He’s never done this before!” This owner would say later, after chasing his dog for hours and hours.

The point of this article is simple. Stop walking your dog down the street without a leash, stop believing that because your dog behaves so well 99% of the time, that he won't run off after that different bird. Stop overvaluing your dog's intelligence just because you've trained him so well.

I've been training dogs for 22 years, and believe me when I say, I've seen a lot of shit happen to highly trained dogs. Excuse my words. Remember, your dog is just a dog.

Marco Magiolo is a bestselling author, trainer, and speaker. Connect with Marco on social media and subscribe to future newsletters and updates.

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