On the 11th of January, I posted this question - What is a dog? - and I asked you all to answer it. I got varied answers including:
- Domesticated subspecies of wolf
- Child in a fur coat
- Humans' eyes into the natural world
- Canine, opportunistic, animal, dog
Taking these above answers, I want you to think about them and consider which ones are actually in answer to the following questions - What do we want our dogs to be? What do we expect from our dogs? - rather than the first question which was - What is a dog?
So, knowing this, can our dogs really perform the tasks that we set for them? If so, how can we prepare them to do these tasks? All of the above answers that you gave can be achieved (yes, all of them), but it doesn't happen overnight. It takes time, training, patience, persistence and love.
A few of the expectations I have of my dogs are:
- Urinate and defecate outside ... not in my house
- Don't start fights with other dogs
- Be nice to people (provided they give no reason to treat them otherwise)
Each one of my expectations require training (there are more, but these are the basics). They all take time and patience and don't just "happen" - a concept I find a LOT of dog owners tend to forget. Every one of my dogs is taught these expectations using positive (or is it pawsitive??) training methods with a rewards based system. I have found that these expectations can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to learn depending on the dog, the situation and the scenario.
So, what do you expect from your dogs? (No, this is not a rhetorical question - I am hoping for some feedback on this!) How do you prep them for those expectations?
(note - the answer to this could be anywhere from what I call "soft skills" like the ones I mentioned to obedience, rally-o or other things!)