So there it is... you have worked with your dog and its training on a regular basis. You have been consistent, patient, and thorough. You have even hired a trainer! Yet... sometimes things are still not perfect. Fido's recall (coming when called) isn't always a "bee line" drive or Fido's sit is a bit sloppy some days or Fido reacted to another dog on a walk the other day. You and your dog have worked so hard and you have made so much progress! What happened in these moments? What went wrong?
While owners may be quick to blame themselves, blame training or blame the dogs, we cannot forget one major element: dogs are dogs. They are living, breathing, thinking beings with their own instincts, drives, interests, genetic make-up, moods, energy and drive levels, learned experiences, motives, and the list goes on and on. While there are dozens of variables to consider when looking at a dog's behavior, we often forget that dogs are simply...dogs. Don't get me wrong, I am not excusing poor or "bratty" behavior from dogs. I'm not excusing trainers and/or owners for sub-par training and/or not doing their part in upholding the dog's behaviors. Dogs, trainers and owners all have accountability. But at the same time, dogs are dogs and they are not robots.
How often do we as humans make mistakes? How often do we do something with less than 100% effort because we are not extremely motivated or eager at that particular moment for that particular task? How often do we get confused or misinterpret one another (and we even speak the same language)? How often do we want to avoid a particular situation or need a little forgiveness for our own behavior? Why should we assume dogs are different?
While we all want our dogs well behaved, well trained, and well socialized, I think none of us wants a relationship with a robot. Celebrate the successes. Absorb the failures. Laugh at the ridiculous moments. Love your dog for NOT being a robot!
Happy Tails and Happy Trails!
Allegiant k9s, LLC