DWQA QuestionsCategory: Divinely Inspired MessengersDo dogs ever experience a sense of “obligation?” Oftentimes, humans will groan inwardly at the thought of having to walk their dog late at night, or in the rain, or in the cold. But it’s the simple duty of a pet owner. Is the feeling mutual? Does the pet ever “groan” internally when the owner calls for the pet dog to go outside when it’s cold? (Especially if it doesn’t have to?)
Nicola Staff asked 10 months ago

Dogs may hesitate or resist being requested to do something they do not need and view as an inconvenience. Many times they are simply smarter than the owner in knowing better, that the routine gesture is not needed at this particular moment rather than trying to duck a responsibility, but dogs are certainly more forgiving and compliant than humans many times. While this is thought of as a conditioned response done with little thought, it, in effect, is a form of acquiescence to the loving bond that is created through repeated interactions where humans are spending time with them and going out of their way to share their lives in some respect, even in the course of training them to obey and to conform to expected routines and conduct.

Dogs are simply flexible, so it is not simply subjugation and a surrender of their identity and desires to the more powerful human controlling them. This is a willing collaboration where they adapt freely in giving themselves up to the relationship and will often make great sacrifices with no grudges or resentment. This is why they will spend considerable energy attempting to heal their human companions, even at the risk of their own lives if they internalize the human’s difficulty in their attempt to heal it. It may overwhelm them and be fatal, but many dogs will accept death rather than give up on their human in a time of need. While this is fortunately not true in all cases but only some dogs who attempt to heal in this fashion, it beautifully illustrates the unconditional love they bring to bear in their partnership with humans.