Young Dogs V High Expectations and the winner is: No One
Nobody really tells you, how much work, time and effort you need to put in, to have a happy, healthy well-rounded dog. There are no quick fixes, when it comes to training your dog.
Whether you are a new dog owner or a seasoned dog owner, young dogs can be trying at times. They are full of fun, excitable, would rather chase butterflies, instead of going to the loo, have a short attention span and no ears, half the time.
They can frustrate you, make you angry, make you sad, put a smile on your face, cheer you up, when you are down. They can invoke, many emotions in you, all in one day.
And, that is not counting the times when you may feel overwhelmed, and wonder if you did the right thing, by adding a dog to your family. Even seasoned dog owners can feel overwhelmed, we are probably all guilty of this, comparing the dog or dogs that have come and gone in our lives, with the one we have now.
No two dogs are the same and if you have had a dog for many years, its easy to forget, what it was like, when that dog was a young dog because memories fade and often we only remember, “the good stuff.”
Good stuff like: how great he/she was to walk with, how obedient, how chilled out and the list goes on. Its easy to forget, how long you spent training & hanging out with your dog, the ups and downs you had along the way, the frustration you sometimes felt because your dog, just wasn’t getting it!
Now here’s the thing, dogs are not human, they don’t think the same as we do. So don’t expect too much, if you think they should know what is expected from them, they don’t, you have to teach them and that can take time, dedication and a lot of patience.
Baby steps is the way to go, all too often and without realising it, it is easy to set up your dog to fail. For example, teaching the recall (come), if you start with your dog on short lead and then ask your dog to sit, then move one or two steps back, then ask your dog to come, more often than not, your dog will come to you. So the end result is one of achievement, for both you and your dog.
Now play that again, say you tell your dog to sit and you move a couple of metres away, your dog starts walking towards you after a few seconds, so you go back and make him/her, sit again and the same thing happens. You may do that 2 or 3 times, your dog isn’t capable of sitting for that long yet, So your dog fails what you asked of, him/her.
How does that make you feel, angry, frustrated or are you ok about it, because you realised, you expected too much, from your dog?