Dog training...don't you mean people training!
A couple of months ago Zig got a distressing Facebook message from a dear friend about Harry, their K9 buddy, who was having a ruff time. He had been in a couple of incidents stemming from other K9 parents not having consideration for others or teaching their dog manners. Zig is very protective of her friends and clients and cannot bear to see or hear that they are in physical, mental or emotional pain. She got permission for me to use Harry's story for inspiration to write this blog.
So here goes:
Well dog training, as you know, is all about really teaching K9 parents how to teach their dog basic manners or as we like to say etiquette inside and outside of the home; and having rules and boundaries can really make our lives far less stressful.
I bet all K9 parents want a dog that is calm and has manners at home and in the local community and this can only happen if K9 parents learn to understand our doggy behavior, learning to read our body language which is our form of communication and what your actual dogs motivators are. Mine is quality time with my K9 Parent Zig! Yippededoda!
Let's woof that you have done some, or lots, of training and you think your dog is pretty cool now with responding to you. But hey, paws up, you may have taught your k9 buddy to have manners but what about your manners, woofing through personal experience and all the stories Zig tells me, many people in general lack consideration for others these days. If you then put a dog with them its like nobody else exists except them and their dog. They then forget everyone else's personal space and think that all dogs are meant to be social RIGHT??? So woofing wrong!
Now don't get me wrong and start abusing us, as we all know Zig will totally make K9 parents accountable for their k9 buddy's behavior. We totally get that life gets really busy and we get caught up in our own little world and this lack of consideration may be subconscious behavior, but it does impact those around you.
So here's Harry's story:
"Just to give you the story of Harry's life -
Harry went to doggy daycare at one year of age after being quite social and gregarious as a pup. Was bitten deep in the middle of the spine by a large (we think black labrador as he hates black labs) dog, requiring vet care. That's when we met you for re-socialisation. And remember also that Taggie ( senior k9 companion) began to lose her aged marbles and started to get vicious with him as she became sicker. He also watched a German Shepherd threaten old Taggie and he was very protective of her.
Then last year, he was attacked 3 times by the same dog - a Lab x Rhodesian Ridgeback who roamed the streets. The last one resulted in a report to Council about that dog. I wasn't the only one to complain. So in his just over 6 years of life, Harry has been significantly attacked by two large dogs, requiring vet care.
All this last year, we have done really well in the city with socializing with older dogs who are no threat to him and whose company he loves.
It was so very kind of you to ring this morning. I ended up crying after I hung up because I always have this niggle that we may be doing it wrong or that Harry is just one of 'those dogs'. You made me feel that he isn't and that we are doing what we can to give him a loving life.
Much love from us all but especially Hazza (Harry).
Harry's K9 parents.
PS: One thing I will add is that he LOVES people - trusts and loves them without reservation. Sadly other people who own dogs often let him down!"
So woofing sad to hear this story and by sharing I hope that all you wonderful K9 parents out their who have consideration for those around you and taught your K9 buddy manners are aware there are many K9 owners out their who are oblivious to the fact that not all K9's like, or know how to socialize. So please be aware that it's ok to let us free run but don't assume that all dogs that your K9 buddy may come across are socially trained or have social etiquette, and not to let your guard or training down.
At the end of the day it is all about your relationship with your K9 buddy and if you are not your dog's number one priority you need to be asking yourself why?
Your relationship comes first then training is easy so long as you are listening to each other through calm communication.
Remember 'It's Not About the Dog!'
Ryda Boy and his paw pal Harry