Getting Away With Murder

When I was out walking my dog, he pranced ahead, sideways, and every which-way but beside me. After a few minutes, I got frustrated and demanded a heel off of him. It took him several minutes to realize I was serious, and then…

It was like he was in an obedience show ring as he pranced alongside me, looking up as he heeled. He knows how to heel. He’s a good heeler. He just chooses to not bother to obey me most of the time! That’s so frustrating, but I know it’s my fault.  His work on-leash is pretty bad! (off leash is better- I wonder why? any ideas?)

I’m the one who lowers my criteria, and lets him get away with walking on the end of his leash. It made me take a look at our agility and see what else I’m letting him get away with.  (I am looking at you, nosetouches of fail!) Do your dogs get away with things?  Is that okay with you? I let my dogs get away with headbutting me while they’re getting petted.  I know some would say not to let them, but it doesn’t bother me.  I like it.

Don’t go into the new year with a dog that does what you don’t want.  Work for the dog you’ve always wanted, and recognize that the dog you have can be (and most likely IS) that dog.

2 Comments on “Getting Away With Murder

  1. That sure hits home! My trainers yelled at me for 2 years that I didn’t take control of my dog, and I had no idea what they meant until one day when the trainer pointed out that when Bandit was sitting at my side, but crooked, and she told me to line him up straight, I chose to change my position rather than to try to get him to change his! Our training went ALOT better after I realized how subtly and easily he controlled me. Bandit is impatient — he will do anything I ask him on a course, as long as I really know where I’m going and communicate exactly what I want him to do, but if I hesitate just a second to get my bearings, or to find the next obstacle –he’s gone — off sniffing and exploring. My other dog, Kola is MUCH more forgiving and will stick with me, even when I’m confused. But Bandit demands more from me, and as a result, he is making me a better trainer for both of them.

    • Thank you for sharing! I did that too much with Quick for heel position. He doesn’t see the point, and I’m running out of ideas to make him see why it’s a good idea.

      It’s always good to grow as a trainer, especially when you do something you’re uncomfortable with. Iwas uncomfortable with contacts, actually!