Sunday, February 13, 2011

Training Your Dog is Forward Investment !

Enjoying the companionship of a well behaved dog is a gift. Ask anyone who has ever lived with a dog that was a pleasure to be around and they will tell you that the bond they shared with their pup was special beyond almost anything they have experienced.

You are a unique dog owner because you have taken the time to train your dog and develop a relationship with him. Many fellow dog owners have not, and this is why though they love their dogs, many don't enjoy them as much as they could be.

I was amazed several years ago to learn that the average dog owner in America considers training classes for their dogs a failure on their part to "train" their dog. I was baffled by this because I couldn't understand what is wrong with asking for help when you need it. For many of the dog owners in America however the standards for living with dogs are quite low. Many people are happy that their dog uses the outside for his bathroom, and doesn't bite (at least with malice). Yikes those are some pretty low standards considering we know what dogs are capable of and the rewards waiting when you finally make the connection to really working together.

Most of you folks realize that when you get a puppy or adult dog the first two years are going to be spent training, socializing and problem solving with your pup to get him to point where he is a pleasant companion. A client of ours recently signed up for a twelve week block of classes. She cleared her calendar to train her dog. She explained to me that the last dog she adopted needed about that much time to really get it and she wanted to accelerate this process as much as possible. This is forward investment. She recognized that the problems the dog was having were not going to go away without training and management and little bit of commitment from her. She signed up for 12 wks of modular classes and came religiously twice a week. You know what the result was ? She has a trained dog. She has a dog that is no longer reactive on leash, who sits , downs, stays , comes and walks nicely on a leash and leaves it when told to. This little dog sits when she is greeting people and when they are petting her, she goes to her bed on cue, and stays there. She ignores other dogs when she is working and as a added bonus has come nose to nose with many without aggressing. I have seen this little dog who came in so anxious and reactive, blossom into a well behaved, confident companion to be proud of. I am proud of our client too, for being so smart and committed to her dog, she believed in forward investment and took the time needed ot make sure her investment will be one she can rely on for the next 12 yrs or so.

1 comment: