As a Dog Trainer, I see some beautifully paired dog/owner teams. They complement each other, they build each other up and they motivate each other, they share a life together. Many of my clients are willing to accommodate their dogs/breed specific needs and will change their life styles to ensure their dog’s fulfillment. Some people simply pick the right dog/breed for their lifestyles to begin with others don’t but they are willing to adjust.
Then there is the other side of clients and dog owners. Those that randomly pick a puppy from a random breed only thinking about their wish to have a companion and pretty looks of the dog without even giving a thought about this dog’s needs. It makes me sad and angry cause I think it’s outright ignorant and egoistic. (Don’t even get me started on people who breed back yard mutts such as Pit Bull Husky mixes or whatever the hell that is bred together by irresponsible people…breeding two beautiful genetics together to create a monster….and no, you will not be getting the best of each breed!)
Oh I see it a lot of these scenarios! People getting herding breeds or dogs from working lines (and other dogs as well) expecting them to be a pet and just listen. Then they come to see me and say “oh the dog doesn’t listen” “he’s barking all the time” or “enter whatever bad behavior”.
Then my questions come up:
How much exercise does your dog get?
What’s your life style with your dog?
How much food do you feed your dog?
I get a lot of puzzled looks to why I’m asking this. Others exactly know that they are not providing the dog what it needs, I’m not sure if they don’t want to provide it or if they don’t care. Some are willing to make “some” changes but not enough…Is it too inconvenient for them? Certain people think putting the dog through some obedience training or a Board & Train program will fix the problem and are nodding their head when I tell them that they have to accustom the dog's needs and maintain the training (“oh yes, we understand”) otherwise they are wasting their money, my time and sanity (and my soul…yes my heart aches like hell seeing these dog and owner pairings).
There are times, because of these owners, I want to throw the towel, give up my career and just say “what the hell, I’ll just go hang out with my dogs that are always getting the short end because I’m so invested in other people’s dogs” but then I’m reminded of all those owners that are needing my help, that want my true and honest help and that are willing to put in the work and changes. Owners that want to SHARE a life with their dog, not have them as a side hobby.
If you want your dog to change, you need to change! Your dog won’t change if you stay the same. It’s a give and take. You got an animal, that all it knows to be is what it is. It doesn’t care for your needs and or should it.
If you struggle with your dog but are willing to help your dog with everything that it takes, even if you just want to improve your dog, please please get in touch with me! I’m here for you, I will support you with all I have until the happy end where you run off into the sunset with your dog as your BFF at your side.
If you struggle with your dog but really don’t want to change much, don’t want to give your dog more exercise, mental stimulation, put in some “inconvenient” structure to your household and put in the hundreds of hours that it takes to train your dog maintain it and share the best friendship you ever had (yes, training is a day in day out thing 24/7 365 days of the year), don’t waste mine or your time and consider if you should really have this dog. Should you have a dog at all?
About the author:
Simone Krebser - CPDT: Owner and head dog trainer of K9 Possible Dog Training serving the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia from Osoyoos to Penticton and Kelowna with result based dog training. Certified dog trainer, certified pet first aid instructor, member of the IACP, dog crazy and chocolate/cheese addict. “My life revolves around dog’s day in and out and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is my goal to help enhance the lives of as many dogs (and their owners) as possible. Your dog is my priority and I’m as committed to your dog as you are. But I can only help those who sincerely want to help their dogs and not only themselves.”