You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone with a deeper love for dogs than Roland Sonnenburg.
Roland, a professional animal trainer, is co-owner of Talented Animals a company with facilities in California, Oregon, and Canada that provides training and support for a wide variety of animals appearing in film and on television. On any given day, Roland might be bonding with a lemur, riding herd on a gaggle of geese… or romping with an entire pack of dogs, including quite a few of his own.
Roland and his partner Lauren Henry adore their dogs and expend a great deal of time, energy, and money caring for them.
What don’t these canine experts do?
Treat their dogs like humans. They don’t dress them in adorable outfits every day; they don’t give them ice cream for dessert on a regular basis, either. They certainly don’t expect their pooches to be entertained by the television when they’re left alone at home all day.
“Seeing your dog as a ‘little-furry-human’ isn’t necessarily wrong,” says Roland, who is a proponent of positive relationships between people and their pets. “But it is a failure to accurately see them as what they are… what they want, and what they need.”
Many people who love their dogs make the mistake of expecting them to enjoy the same things people do.