When I listen to people discussing training dogs I am surprised how much they want from their dog. Not that what they expect is not achievable, far from it. But it always makes me wonder if they know there’s always a price we pay for getting what we want. With dogs, it’s often time and attention. Something that people often lack. On my walks I see many dogs misbehaving happily, while their owners look like zombies staring at their mobiles. If we give only minimum time and minimum attention, we can’t expect much from the dog.
Lily has a garden. And at least three walks every day. We also spend time playing with her in the garden and in the house. If I want her to get better, to be a normal, mentally stable dog I have to find time. When we train, I pay attention to how she learns, what motivates her, what she’s not good at. I adapt and change the way I teach her. I learn her body language because I know she’s already learnt mine rather well. I don’t take anything for granted, I know nothing comes free. Neither for me nor for her.
When we get to know our dogs and compromise, let them be dogs, we’ll find they can learn virtually anything. They are also happy, confident and eager to please us.
There are many ways in which dogs make us happy. There are equally many ways we can make them happy in return. So, don’t ask what your dog can do for you, but what you can do for your dog 😉