normal dogs have no standards as to appropriate elimination sites with the exception of “where I sleep is out of bounds”
normal dogs do not come when called if something more interesting is going on
normal dogs default to responding to new stimuli in their environment fearfully. Fear is a survival adaptation and keeps a dog safe.
normal dogs chew, dissect, and destroy things
normal dogs resource guard
normal dogs bark and growl
normal dogs dig holes
normal dogs hump legs
normal dogs vocalize when left alone
normal dogs chase squirrels, deer, and cats
normal dogs kill small animals
normal dogs pull on the leash
normal dogs often like to run around as fast as they can, even if they knock over small children or grandma in the process
normal dogs lift their legs and pee on trees, even when we bring those trees into our houses and put lights and ornaments all over them
normal dogs like to sniff EVERYTHING – crotches (human and canine), fire hydrants, trees, bushes, gopher holes
normal dogs eat poop
normal dogs tear up the garbage, counter surf, and eat expensive panties or heels
normal dogs roll in poop and dead things
normal dogs do not like every dog they meet
normal dogs do not want to be hugged, kissed, touched, or stared at by every person they meet in every situation
normal dogs don’t like having their nails trimmed, mats removed from their coat, or grooming
normal dogs don’t naturally love being crated
normal dogs don’t naturally love wearing sweaters, being carried in purses or strollers, or wearing booties
Looking at all these things that normal dogs do, how many of you want one? All of these things are NORMAL DOG BEHAVIORS. If humans did not intervene, these are the things that dogs would do naturally. I’d argue that very, very few humans would even know what to do with a truly “normal” dog if they came across one. Normal dogs do not make good pets.
What we want in a pet dog is abnormal behavior. We want a creature which has evolved for millennia as a hunter to act like prey doesn’t matter. We want dogs to learn to go potty outside the house, even when we bring doggy bathrooms (trees) into our homes as holiday decorations. We want dogs to like every dog and person they meet. We want dogs to be silent animals. We want dogs to walk politely on a loose leash, even though our walking pace is comparatively very slow. (Have you ever been caught behind someone who moves slowly when you’re in a hurry, either walking or driving? Frustrating!) We want dogs to never bite, no matter what, even when they are harassed, abused, and neglected.
What we want from dogs are behaviors which are ethologically incompatible with their evolution as a species. We like dogs, but not their “dogginess.” Normal dogs end up in shelters for just this reason. Abnormal dogs get to stay in their homes.