Pet Behavior TipsThis is a featured page

Pet Tip 3/18/11: My dog is perfect, except....This phrase tends to be the bane of most dog trainers’ existence. We hear many versions of it and they are often followed by red flags. Usually clients say something like this:“My dog is perfect, except he sometimes growls or tries to bite me when I move him off of my bed”“My dog is great, but he doesn’t like men or other dogs or kids or ....”My dog is wonderful, except he digs or escapes from our backyard”The worst time for me to hear this phrase is during a client consultation. If I hear the client say the first part I know they are going to drop a bomb and it’s usually a difficult or time-consuming problem to fix.My reticence isn’t because of the dog, it’s because of the owner. If the dog was perfect, they wouldn’t need me. Also, oftentimes owners who think of their dog as perfect aside from one teensy (in their eyes, but typically a big issue) problem, tend to be less likely to want to conform with the standards of a training program. This creates inconsistencies for the dog and subpar results.So the trainer’s job is to get you to look at your dog in a different way and to help you address the problem spots. But, you can help them out by instead of saying, “My dog is perfect” say “My dog has a few behavioral problems, such as ____.” This shows that you’re ready to commit to a training plan and helps the trainer address your pup’s behavioral problems without having to dig for them. You’ll also get better results and have a better relationship with your trainer.Now, there is nothing wrong with loving your dog or thinking your dog is great, but what is important here is to call a spade a spade. If your dog has aggression issues or a behavior problem that is going to put their life in danger, then they need to be addressed quickly and firmly.So if you find yourself using the phrase a lot, take a look at your pup and discern what you need to work on. Is it a simple problem like walking on a leah properly or is it something more concerning? Do you need to seek out a trainer right away or is it something that you can live with? Only you can make the decision.And remember, my dogs aren’t perfect either.Elise Faber, CPDT and member IACP ( Elise Faber, CPT and member of   IACP

Latest page update: made by DebbieLaughlin , Mar 20 2011, 11:30 AM EDT (about this update About This Update DebbieLaughlin Edited by DebbieLaughlin

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