$#*! Your Dog Doesn’t Care About

Learn the top 3 things that really matter to your dog--and the top 3 that don’t matter a bit.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
6-minute read
Episode #78

Confess: you have wandered into the local pet boutique, with its attractively displayed designer collar and leash sets, doggy birthday cards, and doggy cologne. Some of these are fun for us. Some can be fun for some dogs. And some have high odds of making dogs miserable. This week, stuff our dogs don’t care about, and stuff they do. Hint: the stuff they do like is a whole lot cheaper..

$#*! Your Dog Doesn’t Care About

Thing Number 1 that dogs don’t care about is accessorizing. You don’t need me to tell you this. You love your dog, you’re not dead broke, you see a beautiful collar that brings out the rich browns and golds of her coat, you buy it and put it on and admire. And by “you” here, I mean me. Just don’t get overinvested in the décor. When your newly outfitted dog hits the mud-puddle spa, remind yourself that her joy matters more than anything she wears.

Dogs Don’t Care About Their Birthdays

Thing Number 2: birthday parties. If your dog likes lots of human and canine company, you have my blessing to throw her a shindig any time you want. But parties can get loud and crowded; the dogs get tense, spats break out over the liver treats, some poor Maltese has to be rescued from behind the sofa. Before you throw your dog a birthday bash, consider whether it’ll really be fun for her, or whether she might prefer a long, sniffy walk. As for the cake, you can put that money into high-quality food, make your own training treats out of organic meat, and still come out ahead.   

Dogs Would Rather Avoid the Perfume Counter

Thing Number 3: scented shampoo and doggy cologne.


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).