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Myth - Dogs Live in the Moment

"A Common Mistake People Make When Adopting a Rescue Dog"
March 31st, 2006

"The most common mistake people make when rescuing a dog is feeling too sorry for her. They obsess about what a sad life she's had, what must have happened to her in the past and treat her like breakable china, letting her get away with anything. It's important to remember that dogs live in the moment. They don't retain the past; they don't really care about the past. When two dogs meet, they always relate to each other in how they feel and what energy they are projecting at that moment. Now, that's something our own species can take away from dogs!" --- emphasis added

This quote is from Cesar Millan, the 'famous' Dog Whisperer from the History Channel.

It makes absolutely no sense. If dogs could not remember the past, then training would be a futile process. Dogs do remember their past. They remember what we taught them yesterday, last week and last month. If their past has been fearful or abusive, you need to allow time for the dog to adjust to your new loving environment.

Even dogs adopted from a pound may have some fearful memories. With time the dogs will forget or not be subjected to memories about the bad old days.

I had a rescue dog that I found in the California desert. She had just delivered pups and then was abandoned just outside of Hemet, in June no less. If it weren't for the June Gloom (foggy days) this dog may not have lived. She was mal-nourished and skittish when I found her. I let my dog RePete go out to meet her. The dog wouldn't let me near it. Finally, with some food and water we coaxed the dog over to my truck. This other fellow helped me get her into the back of the truck (that had a shell). It took her about two months to come back to being a more normal dog. She did overcome her fears. So much so, that she tried taking over the house. She would not let RePete eat and tried to prevent any attention I might give RePete. Eventually, I found her a new home in Vista. She was a long hair dog, chow cross, and I did not want to take care of a long hair.

Hemet Animal Rescue
PO Box 2581
Hemet, CA 92546