Confessions of an ex-dog trainer : Anyone who believes dogs neither think nor are capable of having complex emotions are sadly wrong.
Our smallest dog , a Miniature Schnauzer named Kipper , has aspirations of eventually “growing” and seems to have developed a sort of little brother complex. My larger dogs have been trained to eat in their kennel .. the little one doesn’t have a kennel although he does have one in storage but since he didn’t seem to fancy it at the time I didn’t feel the need to leave it out. I started feeding the bigger dogs in their kennels because Ali, my German Shepherd, likes taking a bite of food from my other dog Sumo’s bowl just to punk him. No fights ensue but it’s still rather annoying behavior. So for simplicity’s sake the big dogs eat in their own kennels.
Kipper started moping around and walking slowly with his head down during mealtimes a few days ago. His sorrow was so complete that I could almost hear the prison work song from Les Miserable in the background
Look down, look down
Don’t look ’em in the eye
Look down, look down,
You’re here until you die
I wasn’t paying much attention to sudden drama queen act since his energy and demeanor was pretty much the same except for this little drama scene during mealtime.
It wasn’t till he started not finishing his bowl of food that I started to get concerned. The second day he didn’t finish his food, I finally decided to take him to the vet. I was about to leash him and take him when I realized his moping and slow death march seemed to be directed towards the big dog’s kennel.
I knew Kipper had taken over one of the larger dog’s travel crates as his personal “kennel” so I thought maybe …just maybe .. all it was is he wanted was to eat in his kennel and be treated like the other dogs.
Sure enough , I place his bowl in the kennel and we have a happy dog and a waggy tail.
Oh and I promise that is a Schnauzer but he is sporting a Mohawk hairstyle at the moment