A Pet Owner's Journey (Pt. 11)

Losing Your Authority

Roxy - Almost 5

Dogs have a limited perception of time. When you leave the house they don't know if you've been gone for five minutes or five days. This may be a slight exaggeration, but dogs are always happy when you come home regardless of the amount of time you've been gone. 

That is the one great thing about dogs. They are always happy to see you. Their love is unconditional. Their loyalty knows no bounds. Dogs are completely wonderful in that way. But their loyalty can be fickle. 

If you mistreat your dog, if you neglect your dog, and if you abuse your dog that loyalty can turn against you. Dogs aren't known to bite the hand that feeds them, but there are always exceptions. And when a dog acts strangely around its owner there is usually something to be said about that relationship. 

When it comes to rescue dogs you are often times getting a pet that may have been abused or neglected previously. This is not always the case. Sometimes dogs end up in shelters coming from wonderful homes, but, unfortunately, that is a minority of the population. 

So the bond between you and your rescue dog becomes even more important. You not only took them out of the shelter but you offered them a home. You offered them a safe and happy environment, which is potentially something they did not have before. Your dog will be in love with you on this principle alone. 

Now, German Shepards tend to be single owner dogs. They make wonderful family pets, but they tend to be responsive to a single master when it comes to orders and instructions. They will listen to a family member in the absence of this master, but they will be reluctant to follow orders in their presence. 

Roxy is an interesting example of this. I have been her master since the beginning despite the number of people she's had in her life. Ultimately, she responds to me the most and is attached to me the most. This has been the way of things for almost two years. But recently there has been a slight change with her. 

She has started to shift her loyalty a little. I still have final say, for the time being, but the longer she spends with my partner the more she respects and listens to him over me. 

Now, this could be for a few reasons. He spoils her. He gives her a great deal of affection. He plays with her. But these are all things I do as well. 

Perhaps it has more to do with the fact that female German Shepards had a history of forming closer bonds with male owners. And male German Shepards have a history of forming closer bonds with female owners. This is not always the case, but it is a common occurrence. 

I'm not sure why she has taken to him so much. I'm happy about it, because I am always glad when Roxy gets along with the people in my life. But the loss of authority is a little strange. I can't tell if she is testing the water or actually shifting her sense of who is her master. 

It makes for an interesting time as she plays us against each other. And perhaps that's all it is to her, one big game to win affection and attention. I wouldn't be all that surprised if that were the case. 

I suppose only time will tell on this one. Will she remain my dog or will she change her loyalty? It's hard to say for sure. 

Anyway, thanks, as always, for reading another Roxy adventure. I hope you'll look for us next time as we continue on "A Pet Owner's Journey".

Samantha Reid
Samantha Reid

I have been a creative writer for over 10 years, an academic for 7 years, and a blogger for 3 years. Writing is my passion and it's what I love.

Follow me on Instagram @samreid2992

Find me on Twitter @SgReid211

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A Pet Owner's Journey (Pt. 11)