Golden Oldies

Womble is around 14 years old now.

He still has terrier tenacity in spades- as far as he is concerned the postie would have killed us all years ago without his barking!

He still enjoys leaping on Marley, nipping him as he zooms.

He is a big fan of playing with my youngest Whippet Arthur and having a good wrestle!

His age is gradually starting to show though.

As he moves away confused when the Whippets tear past him during one of his potters round the garden.

Now and then we catch him just sat in the garden staring at the house, not realising he can walk straight back in as the back door is wide open.

He leaps to the sofa to shove the others out the way for fuss, but catapults backwards as his legs don’t quite make it up there.

He’s starting to wind down, don’t get me wrong, there is SO much life in the old dog yet! He still rules the Whippets with an iron fist 😉

But I’m becoming more focussed on how we can enjoy time without too much physical exercise.

Womble and Ollie enjoying a nice walk a few years ago

Womble, in true terrier style, would still love a few hours walking a day, but his body would protest severely if I let him.

So we stick to mooches with Arthur for now, simply avoiding dogs he reacts to make for an easy life.

There are still so many things he can enjoy though, and he is very much still getting a lot out of his days.

I feel its important he gets plenty to do still, and so does Ollie. As while Ollie might only be 11 years old, he most certainly feels it more physically than Womble.

Ollie has pretty much always been an old man, so behaviour change wise, there aren’t too many to note! He is just a bit stiffer and wobbly on his legs. It’s more a case of ensuring Ollie does something, anything aside from sleeping!

I’m trying to vary our day to day activities, to keep their minds sharp and their bodies active.

We usually start the day with breakfast, something tasty added each day for variety. Natural yoghurt, sardines, a chicken wing. All are big hits. If I can pop it is a slow feeder I will, to engage those brains a bit more.

Neither can do a good long walk, but I’m very lucky we have a good sized garden!

Womble likes to play music in his spare time!

The two can join some matwork and basic training out there. Some recall games to keep the body moving, trot poles are fun too!

They’re a big fan of hunting out a nice natural rabbit ear or similar chew I’ve hidden, really working that nose, brain and body! They both look so incredibly proud and overjoyed to find it! Even when it’s barely hidden for daft Ollie.

They enjoy a bit of training, for Ollie it’s the stuff he knows well, but it brings such a light to his eyes to spin in circle, shoeing off his skills! Womble likes to work on anything, but his attention span wanes a bit more these days, so fun stuff is usually on the agenda. He’s recently decided he loves a sheepskin tuggy, so he enjoys that one too!

One thing they both enjoy the most though, is to just ensure I sit with them and fuss them. The company and direct attention is what they crave the most.

They might be starting to slow down, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy things still. It just means instead of long walks together, sometimes we just sit in the garden together and appreciate the sounds of the fledgling blackbird (that seems thrilled that he survived a brush with Arthur!)

Ollie and Womble have never hugely clicked. Ollie had firm words with Womble over his humping when he arrived and although Womble backed down, he held a grudge ever since. Ollie had no issues with Womble, after a walk in the rain he’d lick womble and attempt to keep him comfortable. This was always met with a curl of the lip and grumble.

But these days they spend much time together curled up, Womble allows Ollie to engage with him and actively seeks him out for comfort (to lay on perhaps!) These two are such different dogs, but seemingly getting closer as time goes on.

I will be blogging alot more on how these two enjoy life, and new games rather than letting Marley and Arthur hog the limelight!

Happy walks together!

Is Your Dog Friendly?

As I was walking Arthur again this morning, I was met with a large saluki cross bouncing around onlead as we walked down a very tight cycle path. I u turned pretty quickly as the owner shouted “Oh is he friendly?” I carried on walking away until we had more space. As she asked again more insistantly “Is he friendly? This one is”

I fumbled over my own words before deciding on

“Oh he is a mardy bum onlead”

Before Arthur exploded in lunging right on cue!

Then came the judgemental expression from the owner of the friendly dog with “Oh.. I can see”.


Sigh. Arthur is friendly. Arthur can struggle with face to face greetings onlead, but he is a sociable dog and loves to play. Arthur does NOT like dogs who are bouncing around onlead like maniacs, however. It makes him anxious as he’s been bitten on the nose more than a few times by “friendly” dogs.

As is typical of people who are desperate for their dogs to have onlead meetings, this dog was bouncing and staring Arthur in the eyes as the owner was clinging to the lead. This feels like an everyday occurrence these days.

Someone who has an over-friendly, undertrained dog asking me if Arthur is friendly. Usually, because I am trying to continue teaching him he doesn’t need to meet every dog we see, so have him to one side or am actively feeding him for good behaviour.

The reality is the question isn’t “Is your dog friendly?”
The question is “ Will your dog tolerate my dog pulling over to yours and jumping all over him and being very pushy?”

No one would ever even question anyone for punching another human who came running over to them screeching wanting a hug when they never met them.

Yet somehow we expect that dogs should all enjoy being pounced on by others! It’s “socialisation”.

I don’t expect any of my dogs to tolerate being leapt on and lunged at by dogs. I want my dogs to know they can feel safe onlead. And onlead with me.

Don’t get me wrong, Arthur used to leap around like a loon on sight of every dog we met, the solution wasn’t meeting more dogs. It was teaching him to engage with me.

If your making a big effort with your eager beaver enthusiastic greeter of a dog, keep it up and carry on! You will get there! Just consider if you think the other dog will equally enjoy the encounter with your dog when asking if they’re friendly.

I will continue to respond “No he isn’t friendly” and being judged because it is a bit more polite than explaining the fact their dog needs to learn to play it cool!

Social Media Socialisation

Social media is an awesome and powerful tool. I use it alot for Wagging Wonders as well as being one of those people with accounts for my dogs!

Instagram is a brilliant platform for seeing some cute dogs and snazzy little “stories”.

I love seeing the variety of dogs on there. Cute poses, funny videos, trick training. I always search the hashtags and nose at #whippetlife!

I get a bit worried though. While these photos are a lovely moment in time, I know many people who take these canine profiles at face value!

They see these dogs living a perfect life, with all the best highlights. There can often be a degree of sadness, why isn’t MY dog like that dog? Why is that dog able to do things mine can’t?

It’s important to remember that these moments are but an edited highlight. A memory to cherish or look back on fondly. However, this doesn’t mean that dog and owner aren’t having tough times!

Their dog or puppy chews up the skirting board the same as yours, probably pulls onlead too!

I would bet good money their dog jumps up at strangers too 😉

Just because the dogs you follow don’t post those moments when it all goes wrong, doesn’t mean it doesn’t go wrong.

It simply means they’ve chosen that photo to pause on a moment in time.

When you look back on life, it’s the good stuff you want to see!

So when you see a dog on there and think “I wish Fido could be like Brian, he looks so well behaved” Just think, do you share your worst moments on social media?

Your dog is awesome anyway.

And so are the dogs you are following.

But no one is exempt from the realities of dog ownership.

So stop comparing your dogs to your favourite social media hounds.

It won’t do you or your dog any favours!

Instead, make your own memories and value your dog for who they are!

Training the dog in front of you

Training the dog in front of you. It’s one of those things I feel is really important.

No dog is the same. They all have different likes and dislikes, they all have different quirks to their character. They can be the same breed as other dogs you have had in the past, they can be the same age as things you have taught previous dogs. But they cannot be the same dog.

Arthur has been with us for almost 2 years now. I knew I should expect many challenges adding another dog to the household. Marley and Womble are both reactive and highly strung, but both were at a point where they were much improved. I knew my biggest battle would be preventing reactivity in this loudmouth little puppy. Arthur has developed a few quirks as he has matured, however I am starting to realise something very important. Arthur is not Marley. Arthur is his own dog, I need to relax!!

The last 6 months Arthur’s tolerance for young males has decreased drastically, he has got a little more vocal and bouncy on lead. I have pretty much been avoiding dogs for the last 6 months, not deliberately. Just as a standard I guess. Once issues appear, you need to manage them. I am so used to Marley’s much more severe issues, it seemed the sensible step. But I found the more I have avoided…the more tense I have become. The more I have avoided, the more stressed I have been.

I should add I don’t mean walking him at midnight but instead seeing dogs and crossing roads. Avoiding areas where dogs go off lead. It was easier, less stressful. It became the new normal. However, I stumbled back into a routine of walking where many dogs go again recently. Every time someone asks “Is he friendly?” I feel myself hesitate and pause for so long ” Erm..yeah…I guess..He can be a bit much though?” I should answer YES he is friendly! There is nothing wrong with Arthur. Yep, he will tell inappropriate young males off..but that is fair. He probably pushes it a little now and then, but the other dogs push him as a starting point. He doesn’t really deserve to be postured at and jumped all over. It probably hurts him with his incredibly light frame!

On meeting more and more dogs again,I realised that actually, Arthur hasn’t had an issue…I have. I have been so worried that actually, Arthur was the problem. When I know if I was working with him as a customers dog, I would explain that although Arthur needs to learn manners in some situations, most of the time he’s being on the ball when telling another dog to back off- and he has every right to. I let Marley’s issue’s take over (Well, he doesn’t like to be left out!)

Do I have much to work on with Arthur? Absolutely! But I need to work on it and realise he won’t be dreadful, and he won’t be traumatized, and he won’t traumatize another dog. Arthur is Arthur. I need to not get worried he will be like Marley. They are almost polar opposites in every way.

Whether it is another dog you have or have had in the past, or even a friend’s dog; don’t expect the same behaviour. Don’t expect to resolve it in the same way. Appreciate your dog for who he is. And ensure that you are respecting them for the individual they are.

I realise that once again I have neglected this blog! Life has got in the way, as it easily can.

Expect to see more of my inane ramblings in future, on my 4 dogs and a bit more on the work we do with customer’s dogs now and then!

Dogs and The Rulebook

Chatting with a customer recently we were discussing the anxiety her dog feels on walks. He is a recently rescued dog who was sadly returned a couple of times prior to his owners adopting him. He has a few quirks and is unsure of the world inside the home and outside the home. At the moment he pulls when anxious and generally unsure of things going on around him. This pulling and frenzied behaviour that he displays only causes him further stress.

His owners mentioned he can walk for hours but come home and not settle, in fact, it can seem to wind him up further. This wasn’t a surprise for me to hear, this can often occur in dogs who are chronically stressed. The pulling and lunging on lead and getting distressed by sudden noises is likely releasing adrenaline and cortisol into his system, this can take several days to flush from the system depending on the stress levels of the dog. As I continued to explain why these walks where he is over aroused might actually be counterproductive and that for some dogs walking everyday simply isn’t for them if its likely to be stressful, the dogs’ owner responded with a great wisdom. She said it’s as though we as people have a pre-written rulebook of what every dog wants and needs, but that actually that might not be true for every dog.

 

Every dog is an individual and all have different needs, sometimes it can be hard for us to move away from those ideas, but it’s important to remember that the “rules” we have in mind when we think about life with a dog, might not be the book of the dog in front of us. They might actually have one that states they would rather be at home and play games than go out and socialise with other dogs. They might actually prefer to go for a walk somewhere quiet once a day rather than have to deal with the hustle and bustle of the city. Or they might prefer a city walk rather than be harassed by offlead dogs constantly.

Looking at what your dog actually wants and needs rather than sticking to the way things have always been done will certainly fulfil your dog more.

 

Why won’t my puppy walk?

Some puppies love walkies, from the very first moment they get outside they’re just having a ball. They kind of potter along nearby you taking in all the sights and sounds, likely leaping all over every passerby and wriggling away at every dog! Exactly what you expected owning a puppy to be like.
Some pups, however, don’t quite get the whole walking business. They potter along for a bit and then they put the brakes on. Looking uncertain they lay down or sit or simply attempt to break free of the harness or collar that is trying to hold them prisoner! They don’t seem to be enjoying the experience a huge amount and as we get more frustrated they do too.

      Arthur looking innocent

I picked up Arthur 3 weeks ago now, he is one of those pups! He is a confident young dog but sometimes it just all becomes a bit much. He stops. And he doesn’t often budge. I can get a toy out, I can throw some treats around. I can get all excited, kneel on the floor…yeah you name it I have tried it! He is just a bit miffed by this walking around business, sometimes he is bored, sometimes he is tired. Sometimes he simply doesn’t want to walk. At this age, my main concern is socialisation vs walking on a loose lead. I have seen too many dogs who have never got near people or dogs and ended up with issues as their trainer obsessed over them walking perfectly and having PERFECT manners. He is a puppy, nice manners get rewarded but I want him to be seeing the world I want him to be able to enjoy as he matures.

So here are my top tips for helping a puppy not keen on walkies:
-Do try encouraging your puppy to walk with you, it might not work but if it does, reward them heavily!
-Don’t drag, pull or chastise your puppy for refusing to walk, this will likely worsen their issues with the lead.
-If it is a certain area your puppy doesn’t enjoy/refuses to walk at. Pick them up before you get near the spot and carry them past it. This should help eliminate the behaviour if its certain places and a bad habit vs fear or anxiety.
-Try stopping and standing next to where your puppy is for a moment. Gauge how your puppy is feeling. Now try walking forward slowly again when you think they are ready if your puppy joins you reward them with treats. Sometimes our pups just need a moment and respecting that and moving on will help them.
-Reward them regularly for walking with you. If you like that behaviour vs them refusing to walk then rewarding that more will result in your puppy offering walking next to you more.
-Try walking your puppy somewhere new. Arthur actually prefers busy areas, so we are currently doing lots of trips to more interesting places. You don’t have to walk your puppy there, you can carry or drive them somewhere they prefer. The goal is that your puppy begins to enjoy walking. The time you invest now pays off big time later on.
-Play with your puppy on walks. I jog back and forth with Arthur and he realises keeping with me onlead is great fun!
-Practice leadwork in the home or garden aside from walks, so your puppy learns that being onlead is fun.
-Find a buddy for your puppy to walk with. This can help break the bad habit of stalling as your puppy doesn’t get to rehearse that behaviour when with their friends, they are more likely to continue walking (ensure your puppy is not walking with a reactive dog who they will pick up bad habits from!)

 *This blog is based on a Facebook Post I did. Arthur is now 9 months old and has not refused to walk AT ALL for 3.5 months*

Clingy Canine – Arthur’s Adventures

As soon as Arthur was brought home I was determined he would be crate trained. There are so many benefits to this including the potential for him to come to training sessions with me when he matured. I had various kongs and chews at the ready. A massive spanner was put in the works though, as I have previously mentioned, Arthur would not eat from Kong’s, he would not eat chews, and he really didn’t entertain food for the first few weeks. So how did crate training go?

It didn’t. Arthur had a crate at his breeder’s so I assumed he would have been ok, I attempted training in the daytime. This just didn’t happen, food wasn’t very interesting. I tried placing his meals in there, he ate and left promptly. I tried popping him in his crate with the door open when he was in a deep puppy sleep, he scooted straight out. He slept with his crate directly next to my bed at night with minimal interruptions but with random whimperings throughout the night once his bladder could manage it he joined me on the bed. I assume because he was used to spending every moment he could with his littermates and minimal input from the humans in his household at the breeders it was all a lot to take in, he was 12 weeks old which was a month older than the age i had wanted to bring a puppy home at.

 

Arthur cuddling with the grown ups

 

Arthur bonded fast with everyone, in his own fashion. To the point not being in the room with us caused hysterics. I do not believe in ignoring a distressed dog. There is science to suggest this does much harm and knocks a puppies self-confidence, particularly at a young age. This meant he spent most of his time with us, and I had to watch his every waking move to interrupt him dive bombing on my oldest whippet, or chewing up the skirting boards. Toys were not very interesting either. Plastic Bottles were at least of some interest, so many of those were given to him for entertainment.

A month or so into Arthur joining us, Marley (one of my older whippets) had to go on 6 weeks of complete rest- including no play with Arthur. Including no Arthur attaching himself to his neck. So we had to put up a gate to separate them unless sleeping. Arthur did not appreciate this, neither did Marley. Arthur’s anxiety about being separated increased. There was much frustration, crying and an Arthur thinking he could chew up a metal gate (he probably could!) This was managed by increasing Arthur’s exercise and mental stimulation (sit for the plastic bottle went down well, odd little dog!)

Arthur curled up with Marley

The last 6 months have been a busy blur! But at some point, Arthur began to enjoy food and chews! I had begun leaving him with a dental stick which occupied him while I left. This helped stop him crying when I left. However, going upstairs was against the rules (Arthur’s rules!), walking the others were against the rules too. He didn’t spend time harassing me for attention, he got plenty of that so would happily settle when I was around, but he lacked any independence.

So Arthur is now almost 9 months old. Arthur will go in his crate when presented with the opportunity, but will not remain in it for long without food! Arthur cannot be left if I go in the back garden with one of the others for training. So where do we go from here? Well ignoring the issue isn’t an option, we have managed it until this point but unless we address it, it will always be managed not dealt with.

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You can see above some vague, wittering notes. These are to keep me motivated, I am very busy lately day to day. If a plan is not made, something does not get done. Having a plan prior to the session means we can see what works and what does not. Currently, we are building independence. This is NOT achieved by ignoring Arthur, this is NOT achieved by reducing exercise. This is achieved by allowing Arthur to feel that GOOD things happen when he is separate. Planning ahead I have several kongs in the fridge, a moderate level of difficulty. To keep him occupied and to challenge him enough to take his mind from me. Too easy? He does it and whines, too difficult? He quickly gives up. It must be full of high value treats, or he loses interest.

I put the toy down, on his mat that he enjoys settling on anyway, set the timer. And I leave the room, closing the gate behind me. I do nothing exciting, usually typing something up. I am out of sight, but the door is not closed, that is too much of a challenge currently. I have tended to work on this in an evening, when he is naturally more tired and likely to settle, setting him up to succeed. We are moving to morning times too. I will continue to increase time and then begin to start doing more with the others. If he begins to react, i have pushed him too far. Behaviour is always information! I hate to see it when trainers describe anxious dogs as bossy, Arthur is unhappy being alone. So he must learn it is a positive thing. Keep an eye on his blog to see how he progresses on this one! I have a feeling it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Settled in his crate

Snoozing in the City – Arthur’s Adventures


Those of you that know me well, know that as well as Arthur I have 3 other dogs. Of these 3, 2 are reactive to other dogs, and one also reactive to people. One of the bigger priorities I have with Arthur is simple, in theory, allow him to become a confident puppy who can handle whatever life throws at him! Essentially, socialise, socialise, socialise!

 


So what is socialisation? The term has become muddied with people seeming to take extremes in approaches. Either frustrating the dog and taking every experience incredibly slowly or pushing a dog into every situation regardless of how they feel. For me socialisation is simple, Arthur should remain confident about whatever the situation was following it. If it challenges him slightly, this is less of a concern while he is a young puppy. Puppies tend to bounce back from situations and if we handle it appropriately we can turn small signs of uncertainty into ones of confidence and joy.

Arthur relaxing around Lincoln Cathedral


So from the very get go Arthur went out in so many different places. Not driving and not wanting to over walk him I either carried him or popped him in a specialised puppy backpack and then popped him on the floor the places where I wanted him to potter. Arthur was quite a bit barky from the moment he had his first walk, this was a worry but not something worth making a massive deal about for me. He was barking from joy and excitement. Not ideal but with every person and dog he saw he got less interested. Walks were about socialising, seeing sights, hearing new sounds and watching the world go by. Less about walking time more about quality time.


Loose lead walking and focus wasn’t of huge importance to me, he was only a baby- it is crazy to expect him to have the self-control of an adult dog. Arthur, being the strange little creature he is, was much more fond of the hustle and bustle of the city than walking down boring roads. His tail wagged furiously when taken to Castle Square in Lincoln. A busy day there was so much to take in, the only thing that caused a slight degree of anxiety was a horse and carriage, but a laugh from me and dropping down with him and he was fine (and has been since!) He settled by my feet often and just because content with everything to see. On more than one occasion he would happily sleep in the middle of the busy City! Always happy to greet new people and dogs, never once attempting to jump up people I ensured I reinforced this behaviour by treating him and this is something that was never an issue.

We didn’t just visit the City though, it was important to go different places every day. So he got used to new roads, dogs, people, sounds and environments. Places that were empty, supermarket car parks, Pets at Home, fun dog shows, large open fields, small playing fields everywhere you can think of! He took a while to adjust to traffic, so we went on walks specifically to address this, finding a busy road with a large path and empty car park and field nearby we went there regularly to play with toys, sometimes even just to chew on a chew or kong. Now traffic is not a concern of his. I didn’t stand and make him look at traffic or reward him for staring at it. Instead, traffic was the background noise to fun things, games with toys and excitement. It wasn’t something to be forced to be near, the sound just became background noise to him.

Arthur enjoying himself at Greetwell Quarry Lincoln

Sleeping around such busy settings and also regularly checking in with me was exactly what I was looking for, and he achieved it so easily. He loved every moment of this and the only quirk he had on walks was a refusal to walk in certain places. Something he no longer does at 7 months (I will write on this in a later blog!) He is now beginning his teenage phase, things are a touch different now, he is more excited about people but he rarely barks at dogs now. He will focus more and perform behaviours on walks as well as enjoying walks with one of his best friends Django! Socialisation is certainly not over yet though- not even slightly!

 

A New Chapter – Arthur’s Adventures



Arthur is my 7 month old Whippet puppy. He has been living with us for 4 months now and he is maturing into a nice little puppy. It’s not been easy for him, he came into a home with one dog with a then undiagnosed pain issue, an older jrt who rules the roost and another older whippet who tolerates puppies at best!
Puppies are like sponges. They love learning and catch on fast, there has been a video going round  Facebook of a very young puppy shaped to do various exercises. I was so excited to crack on with Arthur’s training. Arthur however, well he had other ideas…no that’s not true. Ideas require a lot of brain power…Arthur didn’t have a clue!

 

He is SUCH a poser!


Arthur was so unlike the rest of the gang here, they were all so eager to learn and get involved with us as owners. Arthur had no time for people, why would he? At 12 weeks old ,when i picked him up from the breeder, it was very apparent he had minimal attention placed on him and minimal work put in. He was happy and healthy, but he occupied himself with his litter mates, who were all hand shy. Arthur’s stronger level of resilience to handling is what caused me to pick him. I should have forseen that to fit in here he would have some form of quirkiness!

 

Arthur just LOVES Ollie



Arthur looked blankly at all the treats i used. Whether it was a fancy dog treat, cheap dog treat, piece of meat, peanut butter, anything you can think of.. it just wouldn’t float Arthur’s boat. Luring him with anything resulted in another blank expression as he casually wandered off. Patience, I kept telling myself. A few days in and he will get it. Which I found myself repeating at each interval, 1 week in and he will come good…2 weeks repeating the same mantra… On and on until, at around 6 weeks of being here something switched on AHA food is good! He began to learn the basics, and we got to crack on a bit more with recall (that’s another blog for another day!) He loves obedience, less so shaping or tricks. Now he can’t get enough of our training sessions. It has taken some patience, but he is shaping up to be a cracking little dog! Keep your eyes peeled on our future posts, discussing socialisation, recall and how he is getting on with other members of the gang, Marley, Ollie & Womble.

 

Arthur at our Puppy Play sessions

 

Secrets to Perfection

Everyone is striving for it. Perfection.
The Perfect life is what everyone aims for , and with that the perfect dog.
Who is the perfect dog? We all have a different idea. For some its the dog who relaxes all day, gets up to eat and goes back to sleep. For most its the dog who obeys every command instantaneously. The dog who can socialise with EVERY person & EVERY dog. They walk beautifully on a loose lead, come back when called almost telepathically. They just want to be with you but don’t have anxiety issues at your lack of presence.
Owners are sold this ideal. If they socialise their dog well & train hard that is what their dog will be. I’m going to let you into a little secret here….Perfection doesn’t exist- Nor does the perfect dog.


We are doing our dogs a great disservice by expecting perfection from them. Very few of us can say we are perfect (one could argue those who do are suffering from delusions of grandeur perhaps!) So why do we expect perfection from them? Why must we accept nothing less than perfection or write a dog off as having “issues”. Why must our dogs have to be pounced upon by every ill mannered dog in the neighbourhood and take no issue with it. Why do we say they have issues with it when it’s perfectly normal to tell the stranger down the street to get away if they were to suddenly run over and hug you and challenge you to a game of Mariokart Double Dash on the gamecube (i’m living in the past…) It’s the same when another dog pounces on your dog having never met them demanding play. But we write off that dog as having “issues”. Owners of reactive dogs spend their lives waiting, for that moment *poof* (that’s magic fairy dust right there) your dog is no longer full of issues! The problem is they spend so much time hoping, frustrated…that before they know it they haven’t enjoyed being with their dogs. Appreciating them for who they are. If someone tries to tell you their dog is perfect- I promise you- They’re Lying. Their dog will have some quirk, some issue that makes their owner tell them “no” or “pack it in”


So am i saying give up on your dog with issues? Just don’t bother and leave them to it. No. Of course not. What I am saying is comparing them to what you deem perfection isn’t fair. Every moment you wishing for that is a moment wasted. Spoiler Alert- Your dog will not be perfect. Sorry if you were still under that illusion! Your reactive dog will NEVER be that Labrador bouncing all over all the dogs in the park and laughing it off. Sorry. Trust me. I get it. I *REALLY* get it. But every moment you spend going ” well yes he’s improved BUT ” and string off a list of things your dog isn’t ok with you’re doing yourself a disservice and you’re doing your dog one too. If you want to push for perfection then you are setting each of you up to fail. Its likely if you are reading this you have already done a lot for your dog, you have begun to work WITH them rather than against them. Help them overcome their issues. How amazing is that?

Rather than wanting and desiring perfection, pushing and rushing them into progress; why not enjoy the time you are spending with your dog? Those moments where it all goes right, those moments where it all goes wrong! You will look back one day with fond memories, isn’t that better than spending your time disappointed because he is not the perfect dog? Keep working hard, remember where you have come from, keep in mind where you are going. But never expect perfection. It simply doesn’t exist. Instead appreciate and enjoy the dog stood in front of you and how much you have already achieved.