Are we exploiting our pets? Or is it just a bit of fun?

Are we exploiting our pets? Or is it just a bit of fun?.

via Are we exploiting our pets? Or is it just a bit of fun?.

Dogs are pack animals who need to follow a leader. They have worked alongside us for millennia and, as long as they’re well-treated, there seems to be nothing contentious about that. We might baulk a bit at entertainment though. A dancing dog? Is that right? Well – does the dog have a painful ring through its nose? No. Is it dancing because the floor is electrified or its feet are being shot at? Certainly not. Is it showing signs of fear or stress? That’s harder but, for the most part – no, and not in this particular case. If performance takes precedence over the ‘five freedoms’ then there is exploitation – witting or unwitting. If not, then maybe the dog is just having the darndest fun and dreaming of rabbits in top hats when it gets home?

Cats though …

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2 thoughts on “Are we exploiting our pets? Or is it just a bit of fun?

  1. Interesting blog. I must say I agree with what you have written. I don’t feel that companion animals, such as dogs, are being exploited by performing tricks. Often it helps create a bond between dog and owner. I am concerned by tricks that put pressure on an animal’s body, such as standing on their back legs for a period of time or loud music/applause.

    When it comes to wild animals, however, I do not agree with them performing tricks as I believe that wild animals do not benefit from contact with humans.

    • I agree, Natalie. Although I’d qualify that just to say ‘born’ wild as a differentiation from captive-born animals that have grown up around people and relate to them in a substantial way. Then it’s pretty much down to the predisposition of the animal itself. Whatever it does, needs to be within or close to its normal behavioural repertoire and without the strain you mention in your response. Going back to cats, for instance, most of them abhor water unless they’re Turkish Vans and then they’re pretty adept, but I still think a Synchronised Turkish Van team might be a fish-bit too far!

      No, DON’T, anybody! Just DON’T!

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