Thursday, June 13, 2013

Confessions of a Dog Trainer - 3

I am dog trainer. At least most days :).

Generally, people expect a dog trainer to have trained dogs. Perfect little robot dogs. Well, not so much in my case (what FUN would that be?) - people who have met my dogs can attest to the fact that they are NOT perfect. Nor will they ever be. They have personality...and a touch of insanity :). Hey, it makes life fun!

We like crraaazzzzzyyy....
Photo: Amy Turner

So if you come to my house, please expect to see at least three dogs on the couch. Another dog is usually on the chair, with yet another barking out the window. Of course, this is after they've barked at YOU for at least five minutes. :) With five dogs they are always under foot and in your way! My dogs do not usually sit quietly in a corner waiting for your attention - they demand center stage (and they are pretty good at it!).

Monday, the spoiled one, sleeps under the covers with me. Sometimes, she even sleeps with her head on my pillow. Oh yea, I kiss her on the lips too (sorry Nicholas!). :) What can I say? I love her and no this does not encourage 'aggressiveness' or make me less of an 'alpha' (ps. I really, really, really HATE that term and philosophy).

<gasp> I know this is all very shocking.

Photo taken from Inspired Leaders Academy.

I also know that most people have the same things going on in their house. But we feel the need to hide this and strive to impress with perfect little robot dogs. Why? What is 'obedience' really anyway?

I certainly don't think of it as a one way communication with submission being the goal. I want my dogs to be themselves and be dogs, while still working within my expectations. Sometimes naughtiness is fun and lightens the mood :). My goal has always been to maximize each dog's natural talents (like lure coursing for Bourbon's extreme prey drive) while allowing them to be a unique individual. As long as I am happy with my dogs, then in all honesty, I don't really care what other people think of how my dogs act.

By letting my dogs be individuals, they have taught me so much I might never have learned. They are just as much teachers as I am. Every day they make me smile and laugh. I've learned how to live in the moment, enjoy the small things in life, and most especially to play every day whether I want to or not.

Now if I had perfect little robot dogs I would missed all those important lessons :).

Mama, I don't want to be a robot...

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