No bad dogs, just poorly trained owners?

In the last few days I’ve come across a number of different situations with dogs and their owners.

The first is a new friend of mine with a shorty bull dog. In general, a typical family pet. He kind of behaves well but doesn’t tend to do what he’s asked straight away and can be a bit of a rambunctious pest. My youngest dog, who is also my service dog, Kai, has been off duty around him a little as we get him and this new dog used to being around each other. My older pet dog, Molly has been the gentle relaxed dog throughout. However, the new dog spending time in my ‘pack’ is just 2 and Kai is only almost 18 months, so they’re both still puppies.

The two of them can think of nothing better than playing tag with each other. Which unfortunately as they’re both heavy dogs and Kai, especially is on the larger side makes for a lot of noise and the risk of the adults getting knocked over. Not a great plan for me, given my OI. 

As a result I have gently been training my new friend in training his dog; while reminding mine of their own manners. Kai, on duty, would ignore this new dog completely even when he’s play biting at him and really egging him on to play. Off duty, he finds it harder to control himself but all the hours of work pay off and i can place both him and Molly in a down stay and both will ignore the new dog. Then we just have to get the new dog to settle as well and eventually all is peaceful.

The interesting part is that it’s all about the owner. I can have all three dogs settled and calm quickly. The new to us dog’s owner tends towards the same mistake so many of us make and repeats commands over, and over, and over again. Also, they tend to praise in the same way. Repeatedly.

So their dog has learned that sit doesn’t really mean sit until about the 10th time of asking and he only has to sit when being praised. He’s now learning, with his owner, that he only gets asked once then his butt will be gently pushed to hit the floor. Once sitting he gets praised once and is expected to stay sat until told otherwise. Having seen my two dogs obedient in this way he’s quickly joining in. So much so that when my bread-machine beeped not only did Molly follow Kai to alert, but so did this new dog!

So you can train an old dog, or in this case the ‘old’ owner, new tricks!

The second issue is more problematic. Diagonally behind me lives a family that owns 2 or 3 large dogs. It appears to me as so if the people are home, the dogs are outside unsupervised. Until recently this was just annoying due to their barking but my dogs are called off easily and come back inside. However, with the extreme amounts of snow that we’ve had recently one of them has worked out how to climb the 6′ fence and gain my yard. Initially it was when my dogs were out and Molly held it at bay while Kai came and told me. That wasn’t so bad.

Now this dog has got a little more adventurous and is coming into my yard as it pleases. What concerns me is that its owner doesn’t seem to notice. Also, if it can get in my yard, it can get out of it and not necessarily into it’s own yard. Given that it’s a white husky I’m scared that this dog is going to get loose and hurt. I’ve tried to get the attention of the owners but haven’t been able to do so. So yesterday, I reported them to the Humane Society and hopefully something will be done to keep this dog safe.

So please remember that a dog should always be under your supervision. If you’re not watching it, crate train it. In a car, use dog seat belts. They exist for a reason. I literally wouldn’t be here today without one. If you love your dog, train it, for both of your sakes!

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