ANIMAL RIGHTS WATCH
News, Information, and Knowledge Resources

HOME ALONE: Man’s Best Captive

Imagine if you went home with people you loved and with whom you felt safe. Then they locked you up in their home and left you there. You had no idea when they were returning. You would likely experience tremendous anxiety and distress.

SHERRY F. KOLB: ‘Most people feel great affection for dogs. Dogs are friendly and warm and seem to worship the humans with whom they live. Dogs run into burning buildings to rescue humans. And people who offer their dogs little to nothing in the way of material support, shelter, or even kindness, can nonetheless rely on their dogs to remain faithful and loyal… But why?…

While I agree that dogs are generally comfortable and friendly with many different types of creatures, I would observe that their behavior toward their own humans is of a different order… It strikes me as more like Stockholm Syndrome, the condition that afflicts many kidnapped people and other abuse victims in which they form an attachment to their abuser, an attachment sometimes called a trauma bond.

Abuse victims who feel this intense attachment will react to punishment by seeking the abuser’s approval and by craving closeness rather than trying to escape the abuse altogether. “But not everyone abuses their dog!” you may be thinking, and I agree. What creates the trauma bond may turn out not to be the intention of the abuser (at least not always) so much as the experience itself…

When we first bring home a dog, we typically spend a lot of time with him, showering him with attention and affection. Then we return to our usual routines, which may mean heading out the door in the morning to school or work and leaving the dog all alone. Though we may think of our homes as calming places of refuge, the dog, suddenly by himself, feels anxiety. Where did his new friends go? Will barking very loudly for hours bring them back again? Will scratching at the door make it possible to escape this very large cage and find his friends? Are they punishing him? What should he do to make the punishment stop?

The dog, in other words, experiences a combination of house arrest and the silent treatment. Imagine if you went home with people you loved and with whom you felt safe. Then they locked you up in their home and left you there. You had no idea when they were returning, and if you said things or wrote something down, you heard nothing but silence in return. You would likely experience tremendous anxiety and distress. Then, when someone came through the door to interact with you, let you go outside, feed you, and cuddle with you, you might come to worship that person and feel utter exhilaration at the sight of him’.  SOURCE…

RELATED VIDEO:

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ENTER CAPTCHA CODE BELOW: