Learning from the animals

Here’s a sharing from Terry:

Since my first dog back in 2003, I have been observing animal behaviour, digesting the information I read in various publications, compared to recommended training techniques by friends and experts.

When presented with scenarios of animals fighting or attacking humans, I’ve often questioned as to why they feel the need to fight. And why some animals warm up to humans and other animals so readily. Thus became a somewhat lifelong experiment for me and Teresa just after she got her first dog in 2007.

We both agree that upbrining plays an important role in the taming/domestication/integration of animals into a human society. My best example so far is Catarinha, a pup of 3 months when she came to me. She will be 2 years old in 6 months. Growing up in an environment full of affection, she knowns no fear, has no fear or other dogs and cats, and is extremely friendly to every living being (with the exception of rats and cockroaches – her hound instincts prevail).

Kittens such as Dino and Tinsel also prove our theory right as they warmed up to dogs and cats without showing fear. Panthera however exhibited much aggression and fear before calming down after a week with me. The picture of the three of them together is testament to this.

Even Cirque has toned down a lot since he came to me almost a year ago. All this is attributed to affection training. The younger they are, the better they adapt and understand that other beings mean them no harm. Biting and fighting are usually attributed to fear and self defense.

Cirque wouldn’t have hurt Tinsel if left alone. He may be a bit rough on her, but I doubt his capacity to kill such an innocent being. Although he has fought at least twice with Chap, he did so out of instinct and provocation from the cat and vice versa. Both were strays and have ingrained in them survival instincts.

But seeing the results of our experiments I’m sure that with proper care and training, any animals will be able to (with time) live with one another. And wouldn’t that be an ideal situation?

I totally agree.  It IS fear that causes animals to be aggressive.  Also, sometimes humans, though they refuse to admit, are silently challenging the animal, or have put up a defence against them.  The animal can sense this, and they will attack. 

It is also fear that causes humans attack humans.  Behind every negative emotion (jealousy, hatred, anger, worry, etc.) is fear.   

The key to living in harmony with animals (or humans, for that matter) is total unconditional (read: sincere) love.  Love that is free from fear.