A Little Less Ego – How our Egos Destroy our Bonds with our Dogs

-Brittany Graham Photography

-Brittany Graham Photography

The biggest challenge after success is shutting up about it – Criss Jami

Dog’s have no ego. Which is a big reason why we love them so much.

The dog that saves his family from a fire, doesn’t go up to the news crews wagging his tail saying “I did it! That was me!”

Balto didn’t make sure he sent out a press release before he made his journey. Nope, he just did it.

The dog that puts himself in between his owner and harm doesn’t post it on Facebook after to see how many likes he can get.

Dogs don’t look to feed their ego. They do what they do because their hearts are made of gold and it’s the right thing to do.

- Brittany Graham Photography

– Brittany Graham Photography

Wouldn’t it be nice if people worked that way too? Yes, of course we all like a little positive reinforcement.

We like to hear someone say “good job” and that they appreciate what we’ve done for them. But, do we necessarily need to have our name attached to it if it’s for the betterment of the community?

So, in human terms, let’s make a larger analogy here. We know there’s multiple universities and research labs that are looking for a cure for cancer. No one can argue that a cure for cancer wouldn’t be an amazing feat for mankind. Let’s say University X discovers a piece of information that could help the other researchers get one step closer to a cure. What would you expect University X to do? Share it right? Ok perfect. University X shares this groundbreaking knowledge. And let’s say University Y says “ummm… thanks but no thanks. We’re working on that as well, so don’t need your help”.

Now, you’re scratching your head right? Because, let’s be honest, if this piece of information could help us get that much closer to a cure wouldn’t you want to use it? Wouldn’t you want to discuss this information with University X and see what further developments you can make? After all, it’s all the same end goal correct?

But see, this is where we as humans are sometimes flawed and dogs are, well, quite perfect. We have egos. And unfortunately some people need their name attached to the feat. They need the press release stating that they’re the ones that accomplished something great. They’re the ones that need the Facebook likes and the shares. And sometimes, this can cause our community not to improve as quickly or rapidly as one would hope.

Dogs don’t need their name attached to anything. They do the right thing and they move on. If there’s more than one of them doing the right thing? They’re perfectly content with that.

- Brittany Graham Photography

– Brittany Graham Photography

Ego. Try letting it go. Do good just to do good. That’s what dogs do. They give you affection, not because they expect anything in return, but because they are emotionally attached to you. If we’re all working towards a common goal, let’s be more like our canine friends and be supportive. After all, who cares whose name is attached to anything? How about just putting our pack name on there – The Community. We all have a stake in the changes that are made each day. So, let’s take away the credit by giving us all the credit. And let’s live a little bit more like dogs. Because, what a wonderful fulfilling life that would be.

Keep calm and pilot on

Danika Migliore
Darwin Dogs, LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, OH

4 thoughts on “A Little Less Ego – How our Egos Destroy our Bonds with our Dogs

  1. “Do good just to do good” is a very noble thought but not easily accomplished when there is an ego acting upon that very thought you’re expressing. Human ego has one and only one preoccupation: self-satisfaction, and nothing good can possibly come out of that ever. True compassion and love can only exists in the absence of an ego and that’s why dogs are so good at it, because they have no ego getting in the way. I’m not saying humans are not able of experiencing true compassion and love but it takes a huge deal of meditative practice to see the idiosyncrasies of our ego. Have you ever noticed how dogs are content sitting all day doing nothing? They just exist in the present moment without preoccupation for the past or the future, they have no ego compelling them to constantly keep busy and satisfied and that’s why when they act they are able to act out of pure love.

  2. Well, ego is a pychological concept that is related to the human higher order brain functions. There is no evidence that dogs have those brain function as far as we now. The term also has social aspects. Ego is an illusion of being in the center of the world basically. Because of that unrealistic illusion, humans have been destroying the environment. Ego makes us think the most urgent and important things are our needs even if the consequences are detrimental to the other beings. Those needs can be physical, emotional, psychological or social. Domestication of the animals were also related to human needs such as protection. In modern world, as the humans have been gathering in urban areas and the werstern individualism have been spreading out around the world, individualism has become increasingly the baseline characteristic of modern humans. It is evident that individualism resulted in loneliness in the modern society. Not surprisingly, dogs have started living inside the urban houses and accompanying the lonely humans rather than protecting live stocks or properties.
    Dogs were forced to live with humans in the first place. On top of that humans have played with their genetical make up and created new types of dogs that are not essentially capable of surviving in wilderness.
    It is widely assumed that dogs have some human qualities and emotions and communicate with their owners. It is just an assumption and no one really knows if that is true. However, there are incidents of dog attacks which are ussually ignored . Only two weeks ego a german wirehaired pointer killed a little toddler and his mum could not save her little one in Gibbsland Australia. And the officials killed the poor dog.
    Obviously it was not the dog’s fault. But it was not the mother’s fault either. Whose fault was it then? My mind keeps telling me that it was the egoist human selfishness embedded in our society. Particularly, our emotional and psychological need make us blind and leed many false assumptions about the nature. Dogs and other pets are the victims of human egoism. If we want to show some selflessness, I think we should start thinking about outside the shell of our ego and respect the environment and animals. Stop breeding dogs and other pets.

  3. The biggest egos I’ve ever seen are dog trainers. Not sure why these people think they’re god’s gift but almost categorically, I’ve experienced nothing but people with an unusually high regard for themselves in the field of dog training. Whether it be petco puppy training on up…nothing but self importance and know-it-all mentality.

    • I would beg to differ. While I have indeed come across many egotistical individuals involved in training, I have also come across quite a few people who are open minded individuals. Aristotle said “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Trainers frequently have different methods, but I have met quite a few with different methods than we have at Darwin Dogs, and we are still able to trade thoughts and ideas in a rational, friendly manner. I believe trainers, like every other profession, run the gamut from humble to megalomaniac, just like every other profession.

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