Why Dogs Need More Control Over Their Lives

Exposing the Big Game

Jessica Pierce Ph.D.

All Dogs Go to Heaven

Agency, choice, and control are essential for psychological integrity.

Posted May 18, 2022|Reviewed by Gary Drevitch


  • The single most significant problem facing homed dogs is lack of adequate agency.
  • Having a sense of control over one’s environment is fundamental to psychological integrity.
  • There are countless creative ways to enhance a dog’s agency.

Jessica Pierce

Poppy thinking about which way to go

Source: Jessica Pierce

If I could identify the single most significant problem facing homed dogs right now it would be lack of adequate agency. Dogs have very little control over their sensory environment, their social interactions, and the basic elements of daily survival, all of which are orchestrated by human guardians. This lack of control—a near-total loss of agency—has significant fallout for their physical and especially their psychological well-being. Fortunately, there are countless easy ways to…

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