You have gotten the dog of your dreams, your head filled with Norman Rockwellian images of him (or her) dozing peacefully at your feet in front of the fireplace or enjoying a leisurely stroll along the beach on a clear, crisp morning. But wait… this dog, your “dream” dog lunges, pulls and drags you along, jumps, and ignores your pleas to sit, down, stay, and come. Your Norman Rockwell is indeed Norman Bates.
Welcome to the world of the untrained dog, a world where about 70% of the dogs in animal shelters and humane societies are on death row because their owners allowed them to be the leaders instead of the followers. The dog is the only animal that has chosen man over his own species. He will eagerly be a loyal, loving companion and will, just as eagerly be a biting, domineering tyrant. The choice is yours. With consistent, firm, and fair training your dog will be the companion and friend that you have envisioned him to be.
I am not here to give you, the dog owner, a “warm and fuzzy” feeling, to help you feel justified having an out of control dog, nor to make excuses for his behavior. I have had to euthanize too many dogs whose only crime was just being a dog. They had failed to be a “little person in a fur coat” … they jumped and barked and pooped and pulled and bit… they were “dogs.” I am here for your dog, to do what I can to keep him your companion and friend for the rest of his life. I am here for your dog, to enable him to be a part of your life, to accompany you on daily errands, to be a part of your interactions with visitors and family, and to be a companion that you will be justly proud of.
Besides a dog and your eagerness to learn there are a few items of equipment that you will need. These include a small or medium size training collar. These are often called “pinch” collars and are one of the most humane training collars available in spite of their appearance. You also need a web or leather six-foot leash and a fifteen-foot leash or long line. Add a couple of hotdogs and you are ready to begin a most rewarding and often quite frustrating adventure.
By Chris “Dogguy” Amick