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Let’s talk about this, because it’s really important. I believe that one of the main reasons people turn to training methods that require pain and fear is that they don’t know how to empathise with their dogs. They see dogs as completely alien beings to themselves, and don’t understand how they could possibly have a meaningful interior life like humans do. Some people don’t even think dogs experience emotions at all.

Some of us find it easier to empathise with non-human creatures than others do - that’s why I don’t eat animals - I just can’t. For me, there’s no difference between the dog at my feet and the cow or chicken on my plate. But this isn’t a post about veganism!

You don’t have to FEEL empathy in order to live empathically. You might not be one of those people who cries at videos of abandoned dogs, or feels deep and meaningful love for animals. It’s ok. Even if you can’t imagine that a dog has emotions, or put yourself in their position, you can learn that this is a scientific FACT and adjust your response accordingly. That’s cognitive empathy - a way of KNOWING something is true even if you don’t feel it.

Education is a huge part of what I do. All of this is to say that empathy CAN be learned and people CAN change their attitudes. I won’t write anybody off if they truly want to learn and understand what their dog is feeling inside.

If that’s a journey you want to go on, let me know ❤️

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