Love the dog in front of you
I was emptying my kitchen bin today (yes, I should have done it yesterday instead of cramming more in), but it really got me thinking about our dogs, and the expectations we have of them. Think about it.....all the things we expect them to manage....
It's a hell of a list!
Don't rummage in the bin (even though it's full of tasty morsels and aromas)
Be happy home alone
Be social with all people and happy to be petted by strangers
Allow unknown people into their home
Get on, and be sociable with other, strange dogs
Listen, be obedient and well mannered in all environments
Don't bark too much, be 'annoying' and attention
Be happy to sleep all day whilst we are at work and then be calm and sleep all evening when we are home
Learn human-centered rules and boundaries
Walk nicely and calmly on the lead despite all the smells, triggers and environmental stimulation
Travel well in the car
Phew! That's just some of the things we envisage our dogs doing when we get them. If your dog is struggling home alone, reactive on walks, or finds it difficult to calm down it's easy to define your dog by these things, but, we must remember all they are fabulous at.
Our dogs are amazing, each and every one of them!
Whether they are the 'dream' dog that you can leave home alone or take anywhere or the dog that needs your patience, reassurance, support, and understanding. Respect your dog's boundaries, work on their anxieties and struggles but always, always think first are you setting achievable goals, and if what you want is really going to benefit your dog.
Love your dog for who they are, not who you think they should be