One of the saddest things I have heard at a dog park. A woman is chatting with me about her six-month-old Australian Shepherd that she has had for a few weeks. She said, “She’s just so hyper, so we put her on Prozac. It’s really calming her down.”
A six-month-old Australian Shepherd puppy that the owner has decided to drug rather than give what it is desperate for–tons of exercise and clear, calm, consistent discipline, with rules, boundaries, and limitations? I literally had to walk away, shaking my head.
It is unbelievable how lazy and self-absorbed dog owners can be. They want to merely triage a problem–like putting a Band-Aid on heart disease or emphysema–rather than address the root cause and commit to providing what will bring long-term health and balance. Some parents will do this with high-energy children; they drug them to keep them docile. Who benefits from this? The parent, perhaps, but certainly not the child. In a “quick fix” culture, some people opt for a pill when they are unwilling to work for a long-term solution.
Drugs don’t resolve problems; they only mask problems and allow the root issue to fester and grow. The wise dog owner will take the time to understand what a dog needs as a primal animal and support those needs. In this way, understanding is the highest form of love.