Monday, August 22, 2011

Narcissist Dogs and Narcissist People—Going Full Circle

 “Love is like gravity for dogs. They can’t not love us.”
Kevin Behan, dog trainer and natural philosopher 

Is there such a thing as a narcissistic dog? Book author Judith Orloff, M.D. says a dog may be narcissistic if:

·        The dog requires a lot of attention.
·        The dog has a way of always getting what he wants by manipulating humans.
·        A dog tends to feel entitled.
·        A dog does not seem concerned about doing what you want him to do.
·        A dog appears to lack compassion for his human, other humans or even other dogs.

What makes a dog narcissistic? The owners, Orloff says. And there is a consistency to this. Dog owners who are afflicted with narcissism raise narcissistic dogs.

The narcissistic dog owner craves as much attention, hugs and love from the dog as possible. Such a dog owner fails to give a dog the structure it needs, because it’s not about the dog, it’s about the dog satisfying the needs of the dog owner.

A narcissistic dog may sometimes be confused with dog aggression that is anxiety-related, Orloff says. The difference is, an aggressive dog may bite, while a narcissistic dog may whine endlessly and demand your attention even when you don’t feel like giving it.

And so it follows—what makes a dog owner narcissistic? He becomes that way because he himself had narcissistic parents.

Narcissism defined

Narcissism refers to excessive self-admiration, to the point that it infects one’s own quality of life, and that of others. A narcissist:

·        Is boastful and craves admiration.
·        Is self-centered and always seeks attention.
·        Feels entitled.
·        Thinks oneself is better than others.
·        May be manipulative and use others to get what one wants.
·        Is easily hurt, but may hide it.
·        Exaggerates one’s accomplishments and abilities.

The narcissistic parent

A narcissistic parent loves a child for the wrong reasons, and expresses this love in the wrong ways. He/she is simply too self centered to recognize the child for who he really is. The child becomes a tool to satisfy the emotional needs of the narcissistic parent.

In turn, the child of the narcissistic parent grows up constantly trying to satisfy the parent, in this way neglecting his own needs. Because of this, the child, ironically, grows up to become a narcissist, too, and may be a narcissistic dog owner, who raises a narcissistic dog.

But seriously, it’s hard to like narcissists. They are manipulative, egotistical, self-absorbed, grandiose and frustrating.

Bear in mind, they are also very unhappy people inside. The narcissist seesaws from phases of feeling larger than life to plunges into deep depression.

Maybe a narcissist owner might wanna read this?

Circle of healing….

Here’s the thing: A dog can genuinely help a narcissist, because dogs love their humans unconditionally. A dog can make a narcissist feel worthy of unconditional love--through thick and thin.

A dog is not impressed with what a human achieves, or how brilliant the human is. A dog champions stubborn love. A narcissist experiences unqualified, absolute love, and it is possible that through such unconditional love, a narcissist may actually have the possibility of giving love back to the dog—the kind of love that needs to recognize a dog for what it really is.

A dog is an animal with specific needs that are very different from a human’s. Orloff said, “Dogs are designed primarily to work for a living, to put their instincts toward a group purpose. Being admired and coddled and fussed over is only secondary at best.”

I gave you the short version. For a more thorough explanation, look up Orloff’s article on this link:

and just for fun, look at this “narcissistic” dog:

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Debora said...

I found this post very thought provoking. Wondering if I and/or my dog are narcissists! I don't think so, by I do know a few people who fit the bill!

TexWisGirl said...

interesting post. my mother-in-law was attention-hungry, manipulative, craving contact. her one terrier was a basket case - nervous, yippy. hmmm... :)

thanks for finding my blog and leaving comments! really appreciate it!!!