I say walk but my dog says RUN!
Pet obedience training could help mismatches before they turn to bad relationships
At the heart of every dog and owner relationship is pet obedience training. Without it, the relationship could be turbulent as we’ll see in Jeff”s story below. Much has been written about choosing the right pet for your family; but have you ever thought about what type of pet would suit your style of ownership? Jeff loves big, rambunctious, mixed breed dogs, although he is discovering that this type of dog may not be right for him.
Jeff adopted Hadden, a six month old puppy from a local SPCA. Little was known of Hadden, other than he was a rescue from Prince Rupert. Hadden is an exceedingly friendly, good with kids, sweet natured, lovely animal and is well loved by all the family, including Jeff’s two girls. Hadden gets plenty of exercise and attention and is exemplary at heeling off leash.
Hadden, however, loves to roam and is a true master of escape – not good at all. Jeff’s yard is fully fenced and Hadden delights in figuring out new methods of escape. He disappears even when the entire family is in the yard. One minute lying on the grass, the next – poof! Gone. Escape is a game to him, but he doesn’t know he is putting himself in danger and this deeply concerns and frustrates everyone who loves him. Pet obedience training would help improve the relationship between Hadden and his family and lessen the chances of Hadden being injured.
The frustration continues: Hadden has learned that there are no negative consequences if he snatches a steak off a picnic table down the street or if he walks through an open doorway and is discovered sleeping on the neighbour’s bed. Pet obedience training establishes consequences for bad or dangerous behaviour and, provided the family follows through with actions, pet obedience training leads to the proper relationship between owner and dog.
This dog needs a firm, “leader of the pack” owner, but Jeff simply doesn’t have it in him. While he gets frustrated at the amount of time he spends looking for his dog, any punishment meted out consists of a mild scolding and a bit of the silent treatment. Hadden has learned to put on the “cute face” and no one in the family can stay mad at him.
Sadly, as with many relationships, despite the love they share, Jeff and Hadden are just wrong for each other without a bit of hard work. With help from trained pet obedience professionals, they could grow to be a great match.
The truth is that this type of dog needs an owner who is willing, and has the time, to put in the countless hours of consistent training this issue may need. An owner will have to decide whether or not they are prepared to do this. They may not even know what steps are involved until they have consulted with a professional, such as a veterinarian.
When seeking the advice of a veterinarian, Jeff will be asked questions about whether the dog is neutered or not, exercise routine, lifestyle, training techniques, family structure, other pets in the house, and many more. The veterinarian and their staff, like Veterinary Assistants, are going to need the answers to these questions so they can better help Hadden and his family. The next step will often be a consult with a certified dog trainer. Some Veterinary Assistants have furthered their careers by gaining certification such as CCPDT (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers) to help people just like Jeff!
Jeff and Hadden might never be a perfect fit, but it is a pet owner’s commitment to their animal companion’s health and safety that makes that true bond between man and dog.