Who does your dog work for?
Recently, I read an article entitled ‘Who Does Your Dog Work For?’ in a dog training journal. The gist of the article was that, ideally your dog should be willing to please you and not just to please itself. I suspect that the article was written by someone who works dogs professionally or someone who is sponsored to compete and do well in competitions.
Each dog is different
When training a dog to work professionally or to work as an assistance dog for instance, it is essential that the dog has the right qualities for the role and that it wants to please/bond with its handler.
Professional organisations such as the Police or Guide Dogs for the Blind have the facility to choose their dogs to ensure they get the right dog for the job. If, as the training progresses, it becomes obvious that the dog is not going to be suitable for some reason, it is re-homed and replaced.
So, what has this got to do with you? Well, in the real world we often don’t have opportunity or the desire to change our dogs if it transpires that they are problematic or don’t fulfil our needs in the way we originally anticipated.
Your dog may not meet your expectations
Very occasionally I have to advise a client that they have the wrong dog for them and that the best thing to do would be to re-home the dog, but this would be unusual. Most people who have taken on a ‘rescue’ dog feel that they have committed to the dog and would feel uncomfortable taking it back.
There are those that decide to have a puppy from a breeder because ‘you don’t know what you are getting from a rescue centre’ when, actually, you can never be sure that having a pure-bred puppy will be without its problems.
It takes commitment and effort
So, what’s my point? My point is: whether you have ‘rescued’ a dog or whether you have bought a puppy from a breeder, you should expect to have some issues to overcome and to have to devote time and effort into working on them.
If you happen to have a dog that naturally engages with you, appears to hang off your every word, follows you around and isn’t interested in anything or anyone but you, then you are extremely lucky!
It’s more usual to have to work on bonding with your dog over time using patience, understanding and positive reinforcement and possibly some professional input to guide you along the way.
Mort Smith’s Dog Training can provide the professional input you need, simply give me a call on 07821 192 827 and I can discuss any concerns you may have.