The truth is…it’s not that hard to teach a dog to sit…Or “down” or “wait” or “roll over” or any simple physical command. With a little patience and a few careful movements, our dogs will cheerfully perform all kinds of “tricks” for our amusement! We are so impressed when we see the little Jack Russell running to the ‘fridge to open it and pull out a beer!!
Sharing a life with a dog is so much more than doing a few tricks…
Living with that same Jack Russell while he keeps himself amused may be a different story however. Sharing a life with a dog is so much more than doing a few tricks or taking some cute videos for Instagram. Life is a series of many moments and the fact is that most of a dog’s life is spent waiting for something fun to happen.
A balanced, happy dog who has something to look forward to.
So how do we address the other twenty-three hours in the day without making our dogs a full time project and still giving them a fulfilling life?
Everything starts when they are still pups and learning how to live in our world. Clear direction, slowly expanding horizons, solid routines and appropriate stimulation are all important foundation lessons we need to put in place.
A balanced, happy dog who has something to look forward to – a meal, a walk, playtime is a pleasure to have around and will wait for long periods of time until it is his time.
How do we create this good dog?? By being trustworthy, consistent and fair. You do not have to do “kissy face” a hundred times a day. You do not have to give him roasted pigs feet every time he looks at you. You do not have to ask him to “sit” for every occasion or overuse his name with different tones to give him information…”Hugo”(happy voice) HUGO! (cross voice) “Huuugooo” (cooey voice}.
He WANTS to please you but you must show him the way
He should get out into the world regularly. He should have a daily walk. His meals and bedtimes should be at regular times. He should not be left unattended and alone for long periods of time and then punished for being “destructive” or over-excited when you come home. He should have clear guidance about what his duties are and what he may not do – without emotional input.
He WANTS to please you but you must show him the way to do this and take the time to wait for him to understand. Please realize that this will be a process.
And please… notice when he is lying quietly waiting for you to pay him some attention and tell him he is a GOOD DOG!!