Monday, November 28, 2011

Why I Train My Dog

I love to walk. I love to walk with my dog. There is nothing more annoying to me than walking and being harassed by another dog whether I have my dog with me or am solo (small dog owners, take note - that little yipper may be cute to you, but the rest of us resent the interruption as it barks and lunges at our ankles or at our dog). This has driven me to be almost drill sargentish about any dog that I adopt. When I walk Lily, she sits at EVERY corner. Without exception. If there is a walk or jogger approaching us, we get onto the grass and she sits in front of me with her eyes on me until I release her.

I take pride in hearing the following daily:

"What a good dog!" (Three times tonight in two blocks)

"What a sweet baby!"

"I wish my dog was that well trained!"

Lily really is a good girl. She didn't come this way. It took a lot of time, effort and energy to get her there. She did more work than I did. She deserves the praise so it's nice when she gets to hear it from someone other than me.

What annoys me on walks:

"Don't let it hurt my dog!" (Heard that one twice tonight as the little dog owners struggled to pull their flexie leashes in BY HAND because they could not control the leash or their small aggressive dog. My dog's eyes never left mine, by the way, even though I'm sure she wanted to run while I had to fight the urge to punt the dog back at the owner)

"You trained your dog?" (This one was said totally incredulously like training was unheard of issue while she picked up her "teacup" in its sweater and it bit her on the cheek - ah, redirected aggression...workable issue with some training)

I would be ashamed to walk the neighborhoods with my dog acting the way that 98% of the dogs in my neighborhood act. I used to think it was a small dog issue. Perhaps owners of large family dogs are just more responsible.

Meet Kiwi.

She weighs all of 3 pounds.

She is well trained.

Kiwi can sit. Kiwi can shake. Kiwi can give you high five.

Kiwi is a good girl because her parents didn't think that having a small dog meant that you didn't have to train her. Notice how good Kiwi looks in a dress. Kiwi can be fashionable AND well behaved. It's possible.

Even Lily can be fashionable and well behaved. Note her fabulous sit in her stylish Bumblebee costume.

It's frustrating hearing from people that they have a "bad" dog. Dogs are only as good as their owners. My dog rocks because I rock. Yes, I'm patting myself on the back. Kiwi rocks because her owners rock. If you have a bad dog, what does that mean? It's a reflection on you as an owner. You haven't done your job. Even when a dog comes to you at four years of age, they are still a blank slate - wiped clean for you to train. I train my dog because I want a "good" dog. Don't you?


  1. Great post! Yes training is crucial if you want a good dog! It is frightening when big dogs are barking and lunging at my big dogs and me. Our big girls were easiest to train. Our rat terriers are still in training but I know we will get there. Kudos to you for such a well written article!

  2. Happy Friday! We gave you a Kreativ Blogger Award on our site and recommended you to our visitors.

    Nina, Myshka, Sasha, Betsy, Lucy, Phoebe and Lily