Have you ever thought about the change in your relationship with your dog if he had thumbs? Would he be as dependent upon you if he could prepare his own food? Would he want to stick around, or would he go on adventures in the neighborhood? Would he choose to relax and watch TV, listen to the radio, or set up his own playlist to enjoy while you are at work?
Probably not as life changing a turn as having speech for dogs, adding opposable thumbs would certainly change our relationship with each other. Our dogs now rely on us for food and shelter. Would that unbalanced relationship continue? Would they do more to work for their food and to assist the family?
How would this change dog training? Many trainers still use the older methods of “Dominance” with shock collars (also called e-collars, or electronic collars), prong collars or choke chains. If your dog could remove his collar, would these aversive collars still be used at all?
Instead of just teaching your dog basic commands and tricks, could you teach him to run the vacuum or dust the house to earn treats and toys?
Imagine the scenario when a delivery truck pulls up to the house. Rather than just barking, your dog would open the door and go out to greet/scare away the driver. Unlike with toddler-proofing your house, some dogs are as tall as us! The extra locks that work to keep your child in the house wouldn’t stop a Great Dane.
Maybe your dog would steal your keys or hitchhike to Cold Nose Lodge! They might run up quite a bill with a huge boutique shopping spree. We’re certain it would be followed by a romp with their daycare friends!
What do you think your dog would do if they had thumbs?