“Recent studies have shown that different dog breeds organize their social structure in different ways. What is important to one breed, in terms of 'herd rules' and communication systems, is not necessarily important to another breed." "There is probably no such thing as a 'dog', but we should define each breed according to its highly individual and complex behavioral patterns."
Below I will discuss the most important, from my point of view, aspects of pleasure balances for the following dog and cat breeds.

1. A two-year-old, spayed Border Collie female dog
2. A ten-year-old neutered Labrador dog
3. A three-year-old, neutered male Burmese cat
4. Five-year-old female Yorkshire Terrier spayed

BORDER COLLIE PLEASURE BALANCE (female dog, 2 years old, spayed)



Border Collies belong to the group of herding dogs. These are dogs that find their way by guarding, finding and herding the herd. Those that act as domestic dogs are still characterized by a strong need for work. They are physically and mentally demanding dogs.
The most important for the 2-year-old bitch in the balance of pleasures prepared by me were guarding/herding the herd, working with her eyes and playing/moving. In this very active phase of life, the border needs about 5 hours of exercise a day. Running next to the bike, jogging, exercising in the dog yard, playing with the ball, swimming, are the daily norm for a border collie. The dog must learn guarding because such abilities are innate. He looks after everything that will be entrusted to him: sheep, hens, geese. Border will also guard his human herd. The need is so strong that preventing him from doing so can lead to frustration, depression and the search for other "substitute", not beneficial from our point of view, activities.

Social contact, body care are other important elements of the pleasure balance. Border Collies are social dogs with a strong bond with their family. His care is moderately absorbing, and each contact with the dog strengthens the bond between the dog and the guide.

Food - after sterilization, the need for food is lower. At the same time, however, it is important that the food is energetic enough to replenish the used reserves.

Preparation of the burrow (important for the border dog) is the dog's natural instinct to prepare a resting place - the burrow. Scratching the bed, blanket - walking in circles. In natural conditions, dogs do not have blankets or pillows at their disposal. Burrows are made of leaves or earth.




Labradors are dogs belonging to the group of retrievers. Retrieving is what Labrador lives for.
In the balance of pleasures presented by me for this breed, the age of the dog - 10 years should be taken into account. The average lifespan of an individual of this breed is 10-12 years, so the Labrador in the presented case is already an old man.
Hunting, retrieving and exercising are still important to him. Given that the dog is in good health, he still has a high need for work and exercise. However, this movement must not be a challenge beyond his strength.

Social contact. Some people think that male Labradors are more dependent on humans than bitches. Labradors are very sociable dogs that need human contact. In old age, the need for this contact is even greater due to the fact that the possibility of satisfying other needs (regular exercise, movement) significantly decreases.

Food. Labradors are famous for being very fond of food. At this age, however, food portions should be reduced. "If our dog does not hunt, does not do hard work and spends carefree time between the couch and the city park, the amount of calories should be drastically reduced" The weight of an aging Labrador is the most important thing we should take care of. The Labrador from the presented case is a neutered dog, so the need for food is also lower.
An aging Labrador will require less and less exercise, but more and more rest and sleep. Therefore, it plays a significant role in the balance sheet prepared by me.

BURMIAN CAT PLEASURE BALANCE (male, 3 years old, neutered)



Hunting and exploration are natural and very strong cat instincts. The cat is a born hunter.
Unfortunately, often in the case of oriental cats and those staying only at home (some sources say: "Burmese cats should not be let outside because they are too trusting and have a very limited self-preservation instinct"), this function is often disturbed. The cat should have the opportunity to display its natural behavior. In this case, we can often observe the phenomenon of the so-called feline wool eaters “The domestic cat is more than just a reflection of its wild ancestor. His behavior is very close to those ancestors. Every owner will experience this wild side of feline nature. The domestication of the cat did not cause its natural instincts to disappear, and the mouse will remain a mouse no matter how much food is in the bowl.

Social contact - Burmese cats are extremely social cats that strive for human contact. They demand a lot of fun from their guardian, but also caresses. They like human company and feel bad when left alone. Cats of this breed prefer the company of people than animals. Therefore, this contact plays an essential role in the presented balance of pleasure.

Rest and sleep. Cats love rest and relaxation. Indulging in naps of several minutes, they sleep a total of about 16-17 hours a day and are the largest sleepers among mammals. It's not entirely clear why cats require so much sleep.

The cat presented in our case is a neutered cat. I assume that he is a healthy cat and there are no factors in his environment that could negatively affect his mood. Meaning, therefore, is not a significant part of the balance sheet.




Yorkshire terriers belong to the group of terriers. They are dogs bred to hunt pests that live in burrows. How are they living today? According to the FCI classification, they are not subject to work trials, they ended up in showrooms.
A five-year-old Yorkie is a mature dog. The greatest role in my balance of pleasures is played by hunting games (smell work, tracking) and physical effort (exercise, movement)
Yorkies are extremely active and energetic dogs, they need a lot of exercise during the day. They need time and space to discharge their energy.

They also need to exercise their senses - after all, they are dogs made for tracking. Even today, they can act as rodent trackers. The senses need as much exercise as the muscles and bones. Sensory exercises can be successfully used even at home - hiding toys, food and allowing York to sniff and find objects.

An important role is also played by social contacts with humans, it is a sociable dog. York is a dog who likes to snuggle in the arms of his master or owner. He is a great companion for games and trips.
Guarding and barking also play a big role in the life of Yorkies. They bark quite often, they will guard and defend their territory. Loud barking lets you know about the appearance of strangers within the territory of the home.

Food and leisure no longer play such a large role in the balance of pleasure. It should also be remembered that the bitch is sterilized and that the need for food after the procedure is lower.

“In specific breeds, the motivation to perform a specific routine, such as fetching or herding, is so intense that not being able to perform these activities causes frustration. Punishing such natural behaviors can make things much worse.” Having this crucial, but also, in my opinion, basic knowledge, owners of dogs and cats could avoid many behavioral problems that they face as a result of their ignorance. It is worth remembering, however, that the balance of pleasure is not only dependent on the breed of the dog, but also on the age or the fact of sterilization or castration.

Author: Edyta Gajewska


1. Marzena Kaca-Bibrich, "Yorkshire terrier", Hobby
2. Vicky Halls, "Cat Secrets", Galaxy
3. Joanna Milewska-Kuncewicz, "Labrador Retreiver", Mako Press
4. Ursula Birr, "Border Collie", AWM

1. COAPE Diploma Course, Module 1

1. Robert Falconer-Taylor, "Understanding emotionality"


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