Every Dog Needs Purpose in Life Even When They Cannot Run Dog Agility

dogs need purposeThere is good reason for all the talk about a dog’s need for a purpose in their life. Just like us they need a reason to be here to keep them from social problems, depression and many other negative problems. They are pack animals that thrive on social hierarchy, where everyone has a job and purpose.

A dog without a purpose in life is an unhappy dog. The great thing about dogs is they don’t need a huge purpose, they don’t need power, control or that kind of importance in their life. The purpose can be as a companion doing small tasks like sitting before mealtime or keeping an eye on you throughout the day.  or it can be as big as a service dog, guardian of livestock and even an agility competitor.  I have a friend who gave her older, retired service dog the task of picking up trash that blew into the yard. He would wait eagerly at the back dog to do his part in the pack.

Dogs aren’t as complex as humans in that to them, work is work (even if it’s just sitting when asked).  Work makes them feel they’re useful, which in turn means they’re wanted and needed by their human. Think of it this way, if you were never asked to anything at home, how would you feel? When you asked to help you got the response, “No, go play, I can do the dishes.” or “No, go lie down, I can vacuum.” You may think you would love it and you just might at first, but admit it, after a while you would become depressed and undervalued. What worth would you have?

When a dog has a job and a purpose, they carry themselves differently. They attack life with a rigor and listen for more instruction eagerly. Giving your dog purpose is giving them a better life, and that’s something we all strive to do.