Many dog lovers are primarily used to thinking of dogs as friends and sweet pets.
But there are a lot of dogs who serve a distinct purpose besides cuddles and friendship.
Dogs herd, work on farms, function as service animals, work in airports or in police forces, serve as protectors, and have a lot of 'jobs' that are as serious (if not more) than human jobs.
Finding the way to support the dogs both as friends and fellow workers requires a good instinct and relationship with them.
In a popular AITA post, a man asked if he was wrong for telling his girlfriend to stop using pet names for his farm dogs, because he's afraid it will make them less productive.
AITA for telling my gf to not call my dogs by nicknames?
I, 27 M, decided to take over my family's farm about a year ago, but I've been dating my girlfriend (24) for 6 months now. When I took over the farm, I knew I wanted to get two dogs that were great protectors.
So I got a Rottweiler, mainly for guarding, and a Maremma Sheepdog, who does the most of the herding. Needless to say, both dogs have important jobs and I always need them to be alert and aware in their training.
For the safety of themselves and the other animals on the property, that includes not treating them as pets.
Recently my girlfriend has been calling my dogs by two distinctive nicknames and it's really bothersome, she calls my Rottweiler 'Rumproast' and my Maremma 'Jelly' which are not their names.
She has also been petting/cuddling up to them as you would to a cute little puppy or something. I understand that she loves them and the nicknames are out of love, but again these dogs are not to be treated as pets, they are workers.
I explained this to her and told her that if she couldn't understand where I was coming from I really couldn't have her over anymore and we would have to continue to see each other outside of the farm. This made her upset in a sad way.
She was really sad when she left, and I felt bad. I tried to explain my reasoning to her and even asked my lil sis for some advice, but my sister said that I was the AH because my GF is just a great person who cares for the animals as much as I do.
This is true, so I get where she's coming from, but I also need these dogs to stay trained as farm dogs. AITA?
Animal lovers across the board shared their thoughts.
Hi. I own several dogs and have fostered and trained many more. Some have jobs, some don't. But I've never seen a dog less functional at its job for receiving more love.
My Akita is my guard dog. It's smart enough to know when it's go time no matter what cuddles he's getting. My borgi (border collie/corgi) is a herder, and never was less effective at herding for being called a pretty little bean. YTA.
Plenty of police and service dogs live normal non-working dog lives when they're not 'on duty' and are still fantastic at their jobs. Youtuber/Farm owner Gold Shaw Farms gives plenty of affection to his Maramma Toby and Toby still does his job.
As long as she's not distracting them from noticing predators (which likely happens mostly at dusk, and over night), they'll probably appreciate the added attention.
I've seen dogs less functional at training for receiving less love. When I'm working with a class and an owner/handler isn't giving the dog affection and praise, the dog isn't going to respond as well.
Sometimes it's hard to focus on all of the aspects of learning a new thing, so it's ok to need a reminder to tell your pup how great they are. Actively refusing to praise a working dog is a great way to lose the training you put all that work into.
There's no motivation! OP needs to learn about dogs, holy hell. YTA.
In South Africa we inherited my brother in laws Staffy. They have a fierce reputation (Jock of the Bushveld anyone??) but are also one of the best family dogs. And Stacy was on the needy, dependent side of the equation.
She was always begging for attention, to the point of licking the air neurotically. However, when we had an intruder, she was a dog possessed. She knew when action was required and her heart of a mouse became the heart of a lion!
Dogs know their jobs better than we do. Trust in your dogs and they won’t let you down. You don’t need to be cold to them.
P.S. We didn’t have enough time or attention for Stacy, we gave her to the neighbors whose little boy bonded with her through the fence.
She lived with them for years til she passed but whenever we went to visit them in their new place she would sit in front of us and lick the air (which she never did with them) for old times sake!
YTA. They are not slaves. You're a sh***y person if you get animals ONLY to put them to work, and never nurture them. Animals want to be loved. They crave attention and affection.
You don't deserve dogs if you only want them to work for you. I've met a lot of dogs in my life, and dogs who are only used for 'work' are always so f**king sad. Please give your dogs some f**king love.
I will say this again, THEY ARE NOT SL*VES. You don't deserve dogs. You're also cruel for refusing to let your girlfriend pet them. They deserve love. She's probably sad for them, because she knows you neglect them when it comes to affection.
At the time of writing this, it's abundantly clear that the internet does not agree with OP.