Home > Dog Behavior, Pet Ponderings > Can you describe a “normal dog?”

Can you describe a “normal dog?”

February 18, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

Cupcake. My heart. Jan 2016I was just preparing a post for my Facebook page (it will post later today) and realized that in my comments introducing the piece I had put the words “normal dog” in quotes. It was in reference to a dog that had been on its own for 4 years and was now safe in a shelter and learning how to be a dog again. He is very fearful and shy and not what one would term a “normal dog” right now.

I haven’t had dogs one would call “normal” for some time now. Daisy was my first puppy mill dog, Jasper probably came from a mill or a backyard breeder, Cupcake came from a mill, as did Maggie. Of all of them, Jasper is probably as close to normal as they get.That’s a whole lot of not normal in my life.

And, I’m not the only one. I know lots of people with reactive dogs, frustrated dogs, or dogs who just need a little extra special handling. It makes me wonder what we consider to be a “normal dog” these days. Do they exist?

How would YOU define a normal dog? What characteristics would fit a normal dog? Does your dog fit your definition of normal?

  1. fredrieka
    February 18, 2016 at 7:13 AM

    Dadwithoutpaws says I am the best nondog he ever had

  2. February 18, 2016 at 7:19 AM

    I would propose that a “normal” human being be defined first! “Normal” is a very subjective term and will no doubt vary from person to person i.e. a standard definition of “normal” is unlikely. My suggestion would be that if one must use the term “normal”, then a brief overview of what “normal” means to the writer would be beneficial. I believe that I am normal …. although others may challenge that statement! 🙂

  3. February 18, 2016 at 7:33 AM

    I wonder too… So many breeds are overbred and messed up, but so many rescue dogs are fearful and not socialized. Then there are the designer dogs, I think you or Debbie (Fearful Dogs) posted a column on how unpredictable they are… There are good hobby breeders, however, who really socialize their puppies well and raise fine pets. I do walk several well-adjusted dogs.

  4. February 18, 2016 at 9:39 AM

    It’s probably the same as a normal person. There really is no one standard. It all depends on the environment as to what would be considered normal.

  5. February 18, 2016 at 9:59 PM

    Descriptors like “average” or “normal” really work better when comparing current behavior to past behavior for an individual. It is much harder to compare individuals in a group.

  6. February 19, 2016 at 12:19 AM

    I often wonder that myself. I imagine part of it is that people are much more open to talking about dog behavior nowadays. I’ve also wondered if our “not so normal” dogs were just dumped at the shelter or down a dirt road 20 years ago.

    But yes I’ve often wondered why I hear so much about reactive dogs now, and whether there were just as many back in the day.

  7. G Woltmann
    February 19, 2016 at 5:28 AM

    Gustavo Woltmann loves dogs! This is a great blog!- Gustavo Woltmann

    • Mel
      February 22, 2016 at 8:45 PM

      Thank you Gustavo! 🙂

  8. February 19, 2016 at 5:07 PM

    I don’t think I could describe a normal dog. I have found that all of my pets over the years have all had their own personality traits and quirks. That is why they are all special.

  9. February 24, 2016 at 10:03 AM

    I haven’t found a normal dog or person in my life – don’t know what that is…. LOL

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